Rather than trying to lower your blood pressure with a single miracle cure, using a combination of healthy lifestyle techniques is your best bet for lowering your blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease and affects more than 30 percent of American adults. This condition is very treatable without drugs.
Trim your Tummy
Lose weight, reducing your waist measurement to below 40 inches if you are an adult male, and below 35 inches if you are a female. These measurements will vary based on your height and ethnicity (for example, the numbers are 36/32 for Asian men/women) but in general, lower weight correlates to lower blood pressure. Consult with your doctor for your best weight.
Choose exercise that’s fun — even moderate intensity exercise like power walking, bike riding and swimming laps with a kickboard can help you burn calories and improve your blood pressure. Do some physical activity regularly, at least 30 to 60 minutes most days. Even bouts of 10 minutes or so can help. Spacing moderate and vigorous exercise throughout the week is preferable to high-intensity exercise done once or twice per week.
Change your Diet
Create a diet you enjoy that reduces saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol, and includes fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Add potassium-rich foods to your diet, such as bananas, potatoes, kiwi, orange juice, milk, avocados, tomatoes, lean meats, fish and poultry. Dark chocolate may improve blood pressure numbers, as well. Eat no more than 1/2 oz. daily, containing at least 70 percent cocoa.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption — or Not!
Drink alcohol in moderate quantities or not at all. Alcohol consumption actually has several health benefits, including lowering your blood pressure. However, more than two drinks per day for men and one drink for women can reverse the positive benefits from alcohol and raise blood pressure.
Stop or Reduce Smoking
Avoid tobacco and secondhand smoke. Nicotine can temporarily raise blood pressure after smoking, so smoking throughout the day can elevate and keep blood pressure higher than normal. Other chemicals in tobacco can have adverse effect on blood pressure as well.
Reduce your intake of caffeine, which is frequently found in coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
Ditch Your Mother-in-Law
Take proactive steps to reduce stress and anxiety levels, which can cause temporary spikes in blood pressure. Use deep-breathing exercises and form a support group where you can talk about problems. Try meditation, yoga, listening to music or other activities that relax you.