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Lifestyle changes can help you control and prevent high blood pressure, even if you're taking blood pressure medication. Here's what you can do:
Decrease the salt in your diet. A lower sodium level — 1,500 milligrams (mg) a day — is appropriate for people 51 years of age or older, and individuals of any age who are African-American or who have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
Otherwise healthy people can aim for 2,300 mg a day or less. While you can reduce the amount of salt you eat by putting down the saltshaker, you should also pay attention to the amount of salt that's in the processed foods you eat, such as canned soups or frozen dinners.
Monitor your blood pressure at home. Home blood pressure monitoring can help you keep closer tabs on your blood pressure, show if medication is working, and even alert you and your doctor to potential complications.
If your blood pressure is under control, you may be able to make fewer visits to your doctor if you monitor your blood pressure at home.
Practice relaxation or slow, deep breathing. Practice taking deep, slow breaths to help relax. There are some devices available that can help guide your breathing for relaxation. However, it's questionable whether these devices have a significant effect on lowering your blood pressure.
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