7 Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Without Medication

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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One method is through the power of your lifestyle, which, yes, is really freakin’ powerful—even if you’re not taking blood pressure meds, you can often make a big dent in your numbers (and if you are, you can use these tactics to support the meds as they do their thing). Tweaks to your habits can lower blood pressure by at least as much as a single medication, says Dr. Jean. Regardless of your medication situation, moving towards a more blood-pressure-friendly daily routine makes a big impact—and you don’t have to overhaul your entire life to see encouraging results at your next check-up. Here’s where to start.

1. Move your body however you can, as much as you can.

Dr. Jean and Dr. Harris both say that exercise is one of the biggest needle-movers for your blood pressure out there. Moving your body can potentially knock your numbers down by about five mmHg. Your goal: 30-plus minutes of moderate-intensity movement like power walking at least three days a week.

If that feels like a lot, don’t panic; research shows that as little as 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per week has a notable impact on blood pressure. Start where you are and increase as you’re able. You don’t have to log 30 straight minutes of movement at a time either. Little exercise “snacks” add up, so try out tactics like dance parties while making dinner, taking the dog for a spin around the block in the morning, or even pacing around the room while you’re on the phone, per suggestions from Colorado State University.

You can also practice a wall sit while catching up on your favorite show; a recent study found that, while pretty much all forms of movement do good by your BP, isometric exercise (in which you build strength by holding a position, not moving—think planks and chair poses), takes the cake.

2. Reduce your sodium intake.

Sodium is a notorious foe for anyone trying to get their blood pressure down, so minding the salt in your diet is a must-do. Though most Americans consume upwards of 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day (mostly from packaged and restaurant foods), the AHA recommends sticking below 2,300 milligrams—and ideally below 1,500 mg if you have high blood pressure. Research suggests this change alone can pull your BP reading down by up to eight mmHg.

Since packaged and restaurant foods are the primary drivers of high sodium intake, cutting back on those things and cooking more at home go a long way in getting towards that 1,500-milligrams-per-day zone, says Dr. Harris. When you do go for premade foods, make it a habit to read labels and opt for lower-sodium versions of things you eat often, like soups, tomato sauces, canned goods, and condiments, per the AHA.

Be patient here. Your taste buds might miss salt at first, but most people who cut down adjust in time, the AHA says. You can take this opportunity to work in more fresh herbs and spices, plus flavors like lemon juice, so that you’re expanding the flavors of what you eat, not just reducing it.

3. Fill your plate with your favorite fruits and vegetables.

You’ve likely heard of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet before—and there’s a reason this fruit- and vegetable-forward eating approach is the going recommendation for all people with high blood pressure! It works, says Harris. “The results are impressive—and comparable to using medication,” she notes.


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