Medications for lowering blood pressure work over time but so do such lifestyle modifications as getting regular exercise, losing weight, eating healthy food, limiting sodium intake and moderating alcohol consumption. Blood pressure results of 140 over 90 are considered high and require changes to avoid complications, notes Mayo Clinic.
As a person's weight goes up, his blood pressure often rises as well. Men with a waistline bigger than 40 inches around (or 35 inches, in the case of women) are at an elevated risk of high blood pressure. Just dropping 10 pounds can take a bite out of a person's blood pressure numbers. Regularly exercising at least 30 minutes a day, at least four days a week, can drop blood pressure by at least 4 millimeters of mercury, as stated by Mayo Clinic.
Substituting sources of cholesterol and saturated fat in the diet with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy products can drop blood pressure by as much as 14 millimeters of mercury. Cutting sodium consumption to a maximum of 2,300 milligrams per day (1,500 milligrams for people who are at least 51 years old or who already have a diagnosis of high blood pressure) can drop blood pressure between 2 and 8 millimeters of mercury. Some alcohol is helpful, reducing blood pressure by 2 to 4 millimeters of mercury when consumed in small amounts, but women and older men who take more than one drink a day (two for men 65 and younger) risk elevating blood pressure, notes Mayo Clinic.