Managing your hypertension
Making lifestyle changes can help control high blood pressure. While there are many risk factors that you cannot change, caring for your health and working with your healthcare provider are two things you can control.
And while you should make sure to keep up your regularly scheduled healthcare visits with your doctor, you can also monitor your blood pressure at home and keep a three-day log to share with your doctor during your next visit.
Free PDF downloads: Tools to help you manage and monitor your blood pressure
How to care for yourself when you have high blood pressure
- Stay at a healthy weight — If you're overweight, losing as little as 10 pounds may lower your blood pressure.
- Cut back on sodium — Try to limit how much sodium you eat to less than 2,300 milligrams a day. Your doctor may ask you to try to eat less than 1,500 mg a day.
- Get active — Try to do moderate activity at least 2 1/2 hours a week. Or do vigorous activity at least 1 1/4 hours a week.
- Drink less alcohol — Alcohol can raise blood pressure. Drink it in moderation, if at all.
- Check your blood pressure at home — Seeing small improvements can help you keep going with your lifestyle changes.
- If you smoke, try to quit. Smoking increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines.