It’s best to avoid caffeine, exercise and, if you smoke, smoking for at least 30 minutes. To prepare for the measurement, you should be relaxed with your feet on the floor and legs uncrossed, and your back supported for at least five minutes. After resting for five minutes, at least two readings are taken one minute apart in the morning prior to medications and in the evening before the evening meal. Your blood pressure monitor should be checked for proper calibration every year. Blood pressure reflects the amount of blood flowing through the vessels and the pressure exerted by the vessel walls against the blood. In a blood pressure reading, the top number represents the systolic pressure, recorded when the vessel contracts to push blood through.

Experts discourage the consumption of energy drinks, especially among minors with existing health conditions. A 2015 study of data for over 1,300 people suggested that people who eat a higher protein diet had a 40% lower long-term risk of high blood pressure. Those who combined this with a high fiber intake had a 60% lower risk.

  1. Some people are able to stop their blood pressure medicine after making aggressive and often difficult lifestyle changes, but hypertension is still a serious health concern.
  2. Processed foods are often high in salt, added sugar, and unhealthy fats.
  3. Never hesitate to ask your medical team any questions or concerns you have.
  4. In a blood pressure reading, the top number represents the systolic pressure, recorded when the vessel contracts to push blood through.
  5. Some examples of aerobic exercise that can help lower blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing.

If you have persistent high blood pressure, your healthcare provider may recommend a medication to lower your blood pressure. Try to reduce your alcohol consumption, especially if you’re already at risk or have high blood pressure. The CDC recommends that men drink no more than two alcoholic drinks daily, and women no more than one. More than half of all American adults have high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), and many don’t even realize it.

Try to lose weight, if necessary

In all, 93 percent of the participants were able to reduce their dose or eliminate medications entirely. A new program developed by a research team focuses on diet, exercise, and sleep as the keys to lowering your blood pressure without using drugs. Keep in mind that you should not use grapefruit juice with a number of other medications, including calcium channel blockers used to treat blood pressure and statin drugs to lower cholesterol. A stressful situation can raise your blood pressure temporarily, and chronic stress can raise your blood pressure long term. This is why stress management is one of the best ways to naturally lower blood pressure.

Ways to Lower Blood Pressure Without Medication

Many though, will benefit from a target of less than a 1000 milligrams per day. Following dietary sodium restriction, it may take some time, even weeks, for the blood pressure to improve and stabilize at a lower range. So it is critically important to both be consistent with decreased sodium intake and patient when assessing for improvement. “When you’re under stress, your heart starts pumping a lot more blood, boosting blood pressure,” says James Lane, Ph.D., a Duke University researcher who studies caffeine and cardiovascular health. “And caffeine exaggerates that effect.” Decaf has the same flavor without the side effects.

Two days of muscle-strengthening exercises per week is also recommended. There is strong evidence to support regular exercise and physical activity as a way to lower blood pressure. “Physical activity helps stimulate blood flow, increase muscle mass and reduce fat,” explains Dr. Thomas. “This not only improves your blood pressure, but also your overall the dangers of drinking after work health.” High blood pressure is usually managed with a combination of medication and lifestyle treatments, says Dr. Weinberg, although she typically recommends that patients try lifestyle modifications first. When you get a blood pressure reading, the systolic blood pressure number is on top, and the diastolic blood pressure number is on the bottom.

Treat sleep apnea

He also notes that reaping the health benefits of activity isn’t just about time spent at the gym. Experts recommend getting around 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week, plus strength training twice a week. Home monitoring can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure, make certain your lifestyle changes are working, and alert you and your doctor to potential health complications.

Although men are more likely to develop high blood pressure between ages 45 and 55, women are at greater risk after 65. Yet high blood pressure isn’t an inevitable fact of later life. It’s possible to slow the processes that drive blood pressure up. By doing so, you’ll also reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and dementia.

And those people further restriction of dietary sodium would not necessarily be helpful or even recommended. In many people, dietary sodium intake is though relatively high. Therefore, an effective target to consider for those people is less than 1500 milligrams per day.

You can change some factors that contribute to high blood pressure, such as eating too much salt or smoking. If you accidentally miss a dose of blood pressure medication, you should take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. It’s common to have “white coat hypertension” — or higher blood pressure when you’re nervous at the doctor’s office. “You don’t want to make any decisions based on that high number,” Blankstein said.

Lifestyle modifications are effective in controlling high blood pressure. A healthy lifestyle can avoid, delay, or reduce the need for blood pressure medications. Regular visits with your doctor are also key to controlling your blood pressure.

Don’t stop taking any medicines without your provider’s advice. The type of medicine used to treat hypertension depends on your overall health and how high your blood pressure is. It can take some time to find the medicine or combination of medicines that works best for you. If you have trouble getting enough quality sleep, consider talking to your healthcare provider. They may recommend a sleep study to see if there are other underlying causes, like sleep apnea, or lifestyle changes to encourage better sleep habits.

In one study, researchers assigned people with high blood pressure to a low polyphenol diet or a high polyphenol diet containing berries, chocolate, fruits, and vegetables (31). Polyphenols can reduce the risk of stroke, heart conditions, and diabetes and improve blood pressure, insulin resistance, and systemic inflammation (30). However, studies haven’t found a conclusive link between smoking and high blood pressure. This could be because people who smoke regularly develop a tolerance over time (25). However, there’s not much evidence to suggest that drinking caffeine regularly can cause a lasting increase (15). To get a better balance of potassium and sodium in your diet, focus on eating fewer processed foods and more fresh, whole foods.

Medicines for high blood pressure

When that happens, Dr. Weinberg says she’ll usually recommend starting medication. Keep in mind, though, that going on medication for high blood pressure doesn’t mean you’ll be on it forever. Your taste buds might miss salt at first, but most people who cut down adjust in time, the AHA says. You can take this opportunity benzo withdrawal timeline and symptoms to work in more fresh herbs and spices, plus flavors like lemon juice, so that you’re expanding the flavors of what you eat, not just reducing it. Regular visits with a provider are also key to controlling blood pressure. If your blood pressure is well controlled, ask your provider how often you need to check it.