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High blood pressure can literally be a killer. One of the more dangerous aspects of high blood pressure is the lack of awareness – even though one of four American adults have hypertension, nearly one-third of those people aren’t aware of it. Gone untreated, high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Medication is surely one way to reduce your blood pressure, but as with many other health issues, a lifestyle change can also help. Below are seven tips to reducing your blood pressure and living a healthy life:

  1. Lose the extra pounds — There is a direct correlation to extra pounds and high blood pressure. In fact, much of the advice or suggested lifestyle changes given to those with hypertension can naturally result in weight loss.
  2. Exercise regularly — Exercising for 30 minutes a day, four or more times a week, can significantly impact your blood pressure. The best types of activities for lowering blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling and most aerobic exercises.
  3. Eat a healthy diet — Eat foods rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, as well as low-fat dairy products.
  4. Reduce sodium — Even a small reduction in sodium intake will produce positive results. Eat fewer processed foods, don’t add salt, and check the sodium content on your food labels. Gradually cutting back on your sodium intake, instead of making radical changes to your diet, will help ensure you stick to it.
  5. Quit smoking — Every cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for minutes after you finish lighting up.
  6. Cut back on the caffeine — Caffeine can raise blood pressure by as much as 10 Hg in people who don’t consume it regularly.
  7. Reduce stress — Chronic stress is a big contributor to high blood pressure as well as many other illnesses. Reducing stress is key to reducing blood pressure.

Keep in mind reducing blood pressure often requires a lifestyle change. This takes time and effort, but it is critical to a happy and healthy life.

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