Jun 10, 2024 Simple Ways to Maintain a Lower Blood Pressure

Persistently high blood pressure can damage the heart, kidneys, brain and arterial blood vessels. It also increases your risk of having a heart attack, warns Sarah Y. Fan, MD, a cardiologist at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center and a member of RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group. Here are some preventative measures that Dr. Fan suggests to keep your blood pressure under control.

Exercise. Regular physical activity can help you maintain a lower blood pressure. “A general goal is to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day,” shares Dr. Fan. “Some examples include aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming), high-intensity interval training or strength training.”

Cut Down on Salt (Sodium). Even just a small reduction of sodium in the diet can improve heart health and reduce high blood pressure. You can do this by reading food labels, eating fewer processed foods, and cooking your own food so you can control the amount of sodium.

Limit Alcohol Intake. Not only can drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure, it can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications if they are necessary.

Sleep Well. Poor sleep quality can contribute to high blood pressure and a number of other issues. If your sleep quality is struggling, try to stick to a sleep schedule, create a restful space, and limit naps.

Stay Hydrated. Your body can’t function well without water and your heart is not an exception. Dr. Fan explains, “Proper hydration helps maintain the elasticity and flexibility in our blood vessels, enabling them to expand and contract as required with our heartbeat. When the blood vessels are flexible, it’s easier for blood to flow, reducing the force or pressure on the arterial walls.”

Reduce Stress. Although easier said than done, try to avoid focusing on doing too much and make sure to make time to relax. You can adjust your schedule, try yoga or meditation, or even find a hobby you enjoy doing to take your mind off things.

Regular Checkups. Even if your blood pressure is normal with values below 120/80 mm Hg, be sure to still get it checked once a year. “If your blood pressure is higher, your health care professional might want to check it more often,” shares Dr. Fan.

About CBMC’s Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Care
No one plans on heart problems. But everyone should have a plan for them. Make a plan for your heart health at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center. Our multidisciplinary team of experts provide comprehensive, compassionate care. Learn more about our programs and specialties, which include diagnosis, treatment, and continued support for people living with cardiovascular and thoracic conditions.