Written by:Eli Ben-Yehuda, December 14, 2016

For many people the side effects of taking high blood pressure medication seems worse than having high blood pressure itself. If you are trying to prevent yourself from having to take anti-hypertensives or you want to decrease the amount you are taking, then lifestyle change is an important part of your high blood pressure regimen. According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy lifestyle can avoid, delay, or reduce the amount of medication you have to take.

  1. Lose the extra baggage at the waistline: Weight loss is the number one thing you can do for yourself to bring your high blood pressure down. Just losing 10 lbs. can help bring your numbers down. Carrying too much weight around your middle can put you at greater risk of developing high blood pressure and the complications that come with it.
  2. Get exercising: 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week can lower your numbers 4-9 mm of Hg. What is the best type to do? Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing. Always check with your physician before starting a exercise program.
  3. Put only healthy food in your mouth: Food is fuel, and depending on what type of fuel you put in your mouth can adversely effect your overall health. Fruits, vegetables, and legumes are a great place to start. To help you make this transition, keep a food diary, boost your potassium, and be an informed consumer.
  4. Reduce your stress: In one of our recent articles we discussed how often times stress is the most over looked contributor to high blood pressure. Chronic stress not only prevents you from losing weight, but also causes your blood pressure to elevate greatly. Find the areas in your life that are causing you stress, try to reduce them, and find new ways to cope with your life stressors.
  5. Quit Smoking: Everyone knows smoking is not good for you. Besides aging your skin quickly, damaging your lungs, and increasing your risk for cancer, smoking also elevates your blood pressure. Just 1 cigarette elevates your blood pressure for 2-3 hours after you smoke. If you smoke all day, you blood pressure remains elevated.
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