Blood pressure should be taken seriously as high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Small changes can have a big impact on blood pressure levels.

Why high blood pressure matters

Reducing blood pressure levels below the recommended range can help protect you from:

  • Heart attacks
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Eye disease
  • Cognitive decline

Lifestyle changes impact blood pressure levels just as much (or even more) than pills.

Small changes

Follow these 6 simple tips to get your blood pressure in the normal range.

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Lose weight

  • Most effective means of reducing elevated blood pressure
  • Losing as little as 10 pounds can lower blood pressure

Read labels

  • Americans eat too much dietary sodium
  • Just ¾ of a teaspoon of salt is the daily cap
  • Half of that amount is found on a single Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich
  • Read labels to weed out foods with high sodium levels

Be wary of these high-sodium foods:

  • Bread and rolls
  • Cold cuts and cured meats
  • Pizza
  • Poultry
  • Soup
  • Sandwiches

Get moving

Personal trainer and senior man exercising at the gym.

  • Small changes to an exercise routine make all the difference
  • 30 minutes, 5 days a week
  • Do something you love or it won’t stick
  • Try dancing, biking, brisk walks, or another fun activity
  • Everyday activities like gardening can even have an impact

Strength exercise

  • Weight lifting can help to lose weight and stay fit
  • Women lose muscle mass steadily as they age
  • Weight lifting is often overlooked, so add it to an exercise plan

Limit alcohol intake

  • Limit alcohol to one drink a day
  • Drinking too much and too often can increase blood pressure
  • Practice moderation when drinking alcohol

Try meditation and deep breathing sessions

  • Stress hormones constrict blood vessels
  • They can lead to temporary spikes in blood pressure
  • Over time, stress can trigger unhealthy habits
  • Overeating, poor sleep, and misusing drugs and alcohol can be caused by stress
  • Reducing stress through daily meditation and deep breathing sessions can help lower blood pressure