ZocdocAnswersAre there any lifestyle changes I can make to help lower my blood pressure?

Question

Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to help lower my blood pressure?

I am a 28-year-old male who recently discovered I have issues with high blood pressure. Other than having high blood pressure, I am in good physical condition. I could probably stand to lose about 20 pounds, and it wouldn?t hurt me to exercise a little more since I started a desk job about 18 months ago. My doctor has prescribed a blood pressure medicine, but I would prefer not to have to take blood pressure medication for the rest of my life. Are there any lifestyle changes I can make that will help lower my blood pressure naturally, without the use of medication?

Answer

Yes, there certainly are, but it is important that you speak to your doctor before making changes. You are also at the perfect time in life to make those changes. With a new diagnosis and at a young age, you can start to make changes that will lead to benefits in many areas of your life. One of the first things to do is to maintain a healthy weight. While this is easier said than done, extra fat provides extra miles of blood vessels that are needed and must be supplied, which can make your heart need a little extra pressure to get the blood there. Additionally, many people who are overweight will have diets that tend to be high in salt. This extra salt can cause your body to retain water, which is just more volume that your heart has to push around with each beat. This also, then, obviously drives up your blood pressure. There are changes to your diet, such as the DASH diet, that can be extremely beneficial for controlling your blood pressure. Finally, exercise has an effect at lowering your blood pressure independent of any of the other items we have discussed. Please make appropriate lifestyle changes, but please continue medications as prescribed by your doctor. Please speak with your doctor about making any changes and before beginning any exercise program.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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