If you're overweight, losing even 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) can lower your blood pressure. As you slim down, it may be possible to reduce your dose of blood pressure medication — or stop taking your blood pressure medication completely. Don't make changes to your blood pressure medication on your own, however. Do so only after getting your doctor's OK.
Remember, high blood pressure isn't a problem you can treat and then ignore. Even if you're able to stop taking blood pressure medication, it's still important to maintain healthy habits. Here's how:
- Eat a healthy diet-the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is an effective eating plan for lowering blood pressure.
- Get 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week.
- Limit alcohol.
- Quit smoking.
- Schedule regular checkups with your doctor to make sure you're keeping your blood pressure in check.
Aug. 01, 2013
- The seventh report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/hypertension/jnc7full.htm. Accessed July 19, 2013.
- Flint AJ, et al. Body mass index, waist circumference, and risk of coronary artery disease: A prospective study among men and women. Obesity Research and Clinical Practice. 2010;4:171.
- Edwards KM, et al. Effects on blood pressure and autonomic nervous system function of a 12-week exercise or exercise plus DASH-diet intervention in individuals with elevated blood pressure. Acta Physiologica. 2011;203:343.
- Your guide to lowering blood pressure with DASH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/index.htm. Accessed July 16, 2013.