[MayoClinic] 10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication


You can return your blood pressure to normal and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by making 10 changes to your lifestyle.

If you’ve ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you may be concerned about taking medication to bring it down to a lower level.

Lifestyle plays a very important role in the treatment of high blood pressure. If you control high blood pressure well with a healthy lifestyle, you can avoid, slow down, or even reduce your medication use.

Here are 10 things you can change in your lifestyle to lower your blood pressure and keep them low.

1. Lose weight and track your waist

As weight increases, blood pressure usually increases as well. In people who are overweight they often have sleep apnea, which increases blood pressure even more.

Losing weight is one of the lifestyle changes to control high blood pressure. If you are overweight or obese, losing a small amount of weight can also significantly reduce blood pressure. In general, you can reduce blood pressure by losing weight, for every kilogram of weight you lose (equivalent to 2.2 pounds) you will lose 1 mmHg of blood pressure readings.

In addition to losing weight, you should keep an eye on your waistline. A large waist equals a large waist mass, which increases the risk of high blood pressure.


  • Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters).
  • Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (89 cm).

These numbers vary between ethnic groups. Ask your doctor about the right waist measurement for you.

2. Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity (exercise) averaging about 150 minutes/week or about 30 minutes/day and 7 days/week can lower your blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. . It’s important to maintain because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can still rise again.

If your blood pressure is high, exercise can help you avoid developing high blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, regular exercise can lower your blood pressure to a normal range.

Some examples of aerobic exercise you can try to lower your blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing. You can also try high-intensity interval training, which involves alternating short bursts of intense activity with subsequent recovery periods of lighter activity. Strength training (fitness training) can also help lower blood pressure. Try to include strength training exercises at least 2 days a week. Talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program.

3. Healthy Diet

High diet whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, while eliminating saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. This eating plan is called the High Blood Pressure Prevention Diet (DASH).

It’s not easy to change your eating habits, but with these tips, you can adopt a healthy diet:

  • Food diary. Writing down what you eat, even for just a week, might surprise you with your actual eating habits. Track what you eat, how much, when and why you eat.
  • Consider a potassium boost. Potassium may reduce the impact of sodium on blood pressure. The best sources of potassium are foods like fruits and vegetables, preferably supplements. Talk to your doctor about the best potassium level for you.
  • Be a smart shopper. Read food labels when you shop and follow your healthy eating plan when you eat out.

4. Reduce sodium in your diet

Even a small reduction in sodium in your diet can improve heart health and reduce blood pressure by about 5 to 6 mm Hg if you have hypertension.

The effect of sodium intake on blood pressure varies between groups of people. In general, limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day or less. However, a lower sodium intake — 1,500 mg per day or less — is ideal for most adults.

To reduce sodium in your diet, consider these tips:

  • Read food labels. If possible, choose low-sodium foods and beverages instead of what you normally buy.
  • Eat less processed foods. Only small amounts of sodium occur naturally in foods. Most of the sodium is added during processing.
  • Don’t add salt. Just 1 teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Use herbs or spices to add more flavor to your dishes.
  • Cut down gradually. If you don’t feel like you can suddenly reduce the amount of sodium in your diet, cut back gradually. Your taste will adjust over time.

5. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink

Alcohol can be good for your health, but it’s also bad for your health. Drinking only in moderation – about one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men – can reduce your blood pressure by about 4 mm Hg. One drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-degree wine.

But that protective effect wears off if you drink too much alcohol.

Drinking more than this amount can actually raise blood pressure by several points. It may also decrease the effectiveness of antihypertensive drugs.

6. Quit smoking

Each cigarette, when finished, raises your blood pressure for several minutes afterward. Stopping smoking helps your blood pressure return to normal. Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and improve your overall health. People who quit smoking can live longer than people who never quit.

7. Cut down on caffeine

The role of caffeine in blood pressure remains controversial. Caffeine can increase blood pressure by up to 10 mm Hg in people who rarely consume it. But regular coffee drinkers may have little or no effect on their blood pressure.

Although the long-term effects of caffeine on blood pressure are not clear, it is possible that blood pressure may increase slightly.

To check if caffeine raises your blood pressure, check your blood pressure within 30 minutes of drinking a caffeinated beverage. If your blood pressure rises by 5 to 10 mm Hg, you may be sensitive to the blood pressure-raising effects of caffeine. Talk to your doctor about the effects of caffeine on your blood pressure.

8. Reduce your stress

Prolonged stress can contribute to high blood pressure. More research is needed to determine the impact of prolonged stress on blood pressure. Sometimes stress can also contribute to high blood pressure if you react to stress by eating unhealthy foods, drinking alcohol, or smoking.

Take a moment to think about the causes of your stress, such as work, family, finances, or illness. Once you know what’s causing you stress, consider ways that can help you eliminate or reduce stress.

If you can’t eliminate all stressors, you can at least deal with them in a healthier way. Try:

  • Change your expectations. For example, plan your day and focus on your priorities. Avoid trying to do too much and learn to say no. Understand that there are some things you cannot change or control, but you can focus on how you react to them.
  • Focus on the problems you can control and make a plan to solve them. If you’re having problems at work, try talking to your manager. If you are having a conflict with your children or spouse, take steps to resolve it.
  • Avoid stressors. Try to avoid triggers when you can. For example, if rush hour traffic on your way to work is stressful, try going earlier in the morning or taking public transit. Avoid people who stress you out if possible.
  • Take time to relax and do activities you love. Take time each day to sit quietly and breathe deeply. Make time for fun activities or hobbies in your schedule, such as going for a walk, cooking, or volunteering.
  • Practice gratitude. Expressing gratitude to others can help reduce stress.

9. Monitor your blood pressure at home and see your doctor regularly

Home monitoring can help you monitor your own blood pressure, ensure that lifestyle changes are working, and alert you and your doctor to potential complications. Blood pressure monitors are widely available and do not require a prescription. Talk to your doctor about home monitoring before you start.

Regular visits with your doctor are also key to keeping your blood pressure under control. If your blood pressure is well controlled, ask your doctor how often you need to have it checked. Your doctor may suggest checking it daily or less often. If you are making any changes to your medications or other treatments, your doctor may recommend that you have your blood pressure checked starting two weeks after the change in treatment and one week before your next appointment. .

10. Get Support

Family and friends can offer support to help improve your health. They may encourage you to take care of yourself, take you to the doctor’s office, or start an exercise program with you to keep your blood pressure low.

If you find yourself in need of support beyond family and friends, consider joining a support group. This can put you in contact with people who can bring you emotional or mental health and who can offer practical advice for dealing with your condition.

Original article: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20046974

Translated by: Donny Tran

Editing: Duong Ngoc

Self-translated article, please do not reup!

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