When your blood pressure is checked by your physician, you will notice two numbers (i.e. 112/76). The higher number refers to your systolic blood pressure while the lower number is known as your diastolic blood pressure. A healthy adult should have a diastolic blood pressure of anywhere around 70 to 90. If your diastolic blood pressure is higher, you could be at risk for hypertension and other complications that can be fatal.
Exercise for at least 30 straight minutes every day. This can be anything from taking a brisk walk to riding a bike to swimming laps at a local pool. Thirty consecutive minutes of cardiovascular exercise will help to strengthen your heart, which can lower your blood pressure. Exercise is also a great way to shed some extra pounds, which is important, as individuals who are overweight are at risk for high blood pressure.
Eliminate any bad habits that could cause high diastolic blood pressure. In most cases, this involves smoking and alcohol. A person with high blood pressure should immediately stop smoking and only drink in moderation. Both of these activities can cause damage to your heart, thus increasing your blood pressure.
Eat low sodium foods. You shouldn't completely cut sodium out of your diet (unless your doctor recommends that you do so), as it can be beneficial in small amounts. Too much sodium, however, can lead to a restriction of blood flow, forcing your heart to work harder to pump blood through your body. This can lead to high blood pressure.
Consume fruits and vegetables in place of unhealthy snacks. Processed foods, sweets, and baked and fried foods can all increase your blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that can increase the health of your heart. Eating these foods is also a way to stabilize your weight, which can lower your diastolic blood pressure.
Eat meats that are low in fat. Many people with high blood pressure believe that they have to cut meat out of their diets. This isn't the case. Instead, search for meats that are very low in fat (99 percent fat free), such as turkey and chicken breasts.
Find healthy ways to deal with stress. When you are stressed out, your heart rate increases. Over time, stress can cause your blood pressure to rise. Some people exercise when they are stressed, out while others meditate or do yoga. Others use relaxation tapes or simply take time to sit in a quiet room. Try some different methods until you find the one that works best for you.
Always follow your doctor's advice when dealing with high blood pressure. Your doctor may put you on medication or tell you to stay away from certain foods and beverages. Have your blood pressure checked once a month to see if it is going down.