A heart-healthy lifestyle can help you prevent high blood pressure. These changes are even more important if you have risk factors for high blood pressure that you can't change. These risk factors include race, age, and having others in your family who have high blood pressure.
Lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy and being active, are always important to help lower blood pressure. You might also take medicine to reach your blood pressure goal.
How you can help prevent high blood pressure
- Stay at a healthy weight.
- Be physically active.
- Get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.
- Walking is a good choice. You also may want to do other activities, such as running, swimming, cycling or playing tennis or team sports.
- Limit alcohol to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
- Eat less saturated and total fats.
- Try to limit how much sodium you eat.
- Buy foods that are labeled “unsalted,” “sodium-free” or “low-sodium.” Foods labeled “reduced-sodium” and “light sodium” may still have too much sodium.
- Flavor your food with garlic, lemon juice, onion, vinegar, herbs, and spices instead of salt. Do not use soy sauce, steak sauce, onion salt, garlic salt, mustard, or ketchup on your food.
- Use less salt (or none) when recipes call for it. You can often use half the salt a recipe calls for without losing flavor.