Five Simple Steps to Control Your Blood Pressure

Updated:Dec 18,2013


High blood pressure can be fatal, so it’s important to know your blood pressure reading and what you can do to keep things under control. The good news is, we have an easy new way to help.  Just follow the simple steps below – which are recommended by blood pressure experts from  the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  1. Know your numbers. Most people diagnosed with high blood pressure want to stay below 140/90, but your healthcare provider can tell you your personal target blood pressure.
  2. Work with your healthcare provider to make a plan to lower your BP.
  3. Make a few lifestyle changes.  In many cases this will be your doctor’s first recommendation, likely in one of these areas:
    • Lose weight. Strive for a body mass index under 25. BMI Calculator For Adults
    • Eat healthier. Eat lots of fruit, veggies and low-fat dairy, and less saturated and total fat.
    • Reduce sodium. Stay under 1,500 mg a day, which is associated with the greatest reduction in BP.
    • Get active. Shoot for 2 ½ hours a week.
    • Limit alcohol. Drink no more than 1-2 drinks a day. (1 for most women, 2 for most men)
  4. Keep checking your BP at home.
  5. If you have to take medication, take it exactly the way your doctor says.

For more help lowering your blood pressure, visit heart.org/hbp.