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Simple lifestyle changes that keep blood pressure under control

1. Lose extra weight and watch your waistline.  Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk.

2. Exercise regularly:  Regular physical activity — at least 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

3. Eat a healthy diet: Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg.

4. Reduce salt (sodium) in your diet: Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2-8 mm Hg.

5. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink: Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. In small amounts, it can potentially lower your blood pressure by 2-4 mm Hg. But that protective effect is lost if you drink too much alcohol.

6. Avoid tobacco products and secondhand smoke.

7. Reduce your stress: Stress or anxiety can temporarily increase blood pressure.

8. Monitor your blood pressure at home and make regular doctor’s appointments.

9. Get support from family and friends. Supportive family and friends can help improve your health.


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