Different Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

by Emily McBride
(last updated October 1, 2009)

The tricky thing about high blood pressure is that you won't know it's a problem unless you have tested your blood pressure recently. Before you even do anything about blood pressure, you should first get it checked. However, once is not enough. Check it regularly to see how you're doing. If you are going in for a doctor's appointment, your blood pressure will get checked most of the time. Ask the nurse or doctor what your blood pressure is. You should get your blood pressure checked at least every two years once you are 18, and more often if you have high blood pressure and you're trying to lower it.

The nice thing about checking your blood pressure is that you can do it just about anywhere—grocery stores, drug stores, or health clinics. If you have high blood pressure, consider buying an inexpensive cuff and pump that you can use on your own at home. Make sure that you read the instructions, and if you are still confused, ask your doctor for help.

The disease stages are as follows: Normal is less than 120/80, Prehypertension is 120/80 to 139/89, Stage 1 Hypertension is 140/90 to 159/99, and Stage 2 Hypertension is 160/100 or higher. Now that you know if you have high blood pressure, here are some tips on how to lower it:

  • Avoid salty foods. The American diet is overloaded with salt. If you need to lower your blood pressure, try only eating 1,500 mg of sodium a day. Don't salt your food at the dinner table. Make homemade meals whenever possible because packaged and processed food often contain a lot of extra salt.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. This step is self-explanatory, but very important. Eat a well-balanced diet and get enough exercise. Calculate your BMI to get an approximate idea of if you are at a healthy weight or not. Not only is it important to not have too much excess weight, but you can also lower your blood pressure by getting enough exercise and healthy eating.
  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol. Smoking is obviously dangerous for your health, and it is harmful to your blood pressure as well. Also limit your alcohol intake to no more than one drink a day for women, and two for men.

High blood pressure is something to take seriously because it can add stress on your heart and is the number one preventable risk factor for strokes. Other consequences are heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, kidney disease, and even blindness in some cases. Make sure to get your blood pressure under control!

Author Bio

Emily McBride

A senior majoring in English and editing at BYU, Emily hopes to enter the field of professional editing upon graduation. Emily has done humanitarian work in Africa and studied in London. She enjoys blogging, foreign films, and playing the piano. ...

MORE FROM EMILY

South Beach Diet

Are you exploring diet options because you want to lose weight? The South Beach diet focuses on replacing "bad fats" and "bad ...

Discover More

Cleaning Those Dirty Walls

Walls are one of the largest surfaces in your house, but they are often one of the most forgotten or forsaken chores. If you ...

Discover More

Applying Liquid Blush

Does your make-up routine need a pick-me-up? You can use liquid blush to give your face some color and a healthy glow.

Discover More
More Health Tips

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

We know that it's important to keep your blood pressure in a good range—but what is a good range? Read here for more ...

Discover More

Strengthening Bones

Bones are literally the support system for the entire body, but how often do you hear people talking about strengthening ...

Discover More

How Long Does Staph Live on Surfaces?

Staph bacteria can live on surfaces for many weeks depending on the humidity level of the environment. It also lives on the ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 + 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)