Managing Weight to Control High Blood Pressure

women in an exercise class

A few great reasons to manage your weight:

  • A little weight loss can bring a lot of health gains. Did you know you might experience health benefits from losing as few as 10 pounds? Even a small weight loss can help manage or prevent high blood pressure in many overweight people (those with a body mass index, or BMI, of 25 or greater).
  • Being overweight puts extra strain on your heart, increasing the risk for developing high blood pressure and damage to your blood vessels that can lead to serious health threats.

Increasing activity in order to lose weight

If your health care professional recommends that you lose weight, there’s a simple rule to follow: move more and eat well. Gradually increase your level of physical activity beyond the AHA recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, lower the number of calories you take in and eat a healthy diet. Once you’re at your goal weight, you can then determine which dietary and fitness choices work best for maintaining your weight.

If you need to lose weight, talk to your health care professional about a healthy approach. For example, your health care professional can help you figure out how many calories you need for weight loss and advise you on which types of activities are best.

Download fact sheets on healthy weight loss (PDF) and maintaining a healthy weight (PDF) | Spanish (PDF).