Regular physical activity such as 150 minutes a week, or about 30 minutes most days of the week can lower your blood pressure by about 5 to 8 millimeter of mercury (mm Hg), if you have high blood pressure. It’s important to be consistent because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can rise again. If you have elevated blood pressure, exercise can help you avoid developing hypertension. If you already have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to safer levels.
Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Losing even a small amount of weight if you’re overweight or obese can help reduce your blood pressure. In general, you may reduce your blood pressure by about 1 mm Hg with each kilogram (about 2.2 pounds, which is approximately 1 kg) of weight you lose.
Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure.
Blood pressure is a combination of systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure represents blood force, or pressure, while the heart is beating and diastolic pressure stands for blood pressure when the heart is at rest. Systolic pressure is always the first or top measurement in a blood pressure reading. In a reading of 130/80, 130 represents systolic pressure and 80 represents diastolic pressure. In prehypertension, systolic numbers range from 120–129 and diastolic numbers are less than 80.