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What is the best way to reduce your blood pressure?

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Quick Answer

Two very important ways to reduce blood pressure are to reduce waistline girth and engage in 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week, reports Mayo Clinic. Specific dietary changes and limiting tobacco use and alcohol consumption can reduce blood pressure as well.

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Full Answer

Men should try to keep their waistline beneath 40 inches in circumference and women under 35, according to Mayo Clinic. While simply reducing weight improves blood pressure, weight carried around the waist contributes more to high blood pressure. Weight loss also improves the effectiveness of blood pressure medication. Regular daily exercise can lower blood pressure up to 9 millimeters mercury, and results can be seen in as short as a few weeks. Cramming excessive amounts of exercise into a few days a week is not recommended and can actually be dangerous.

A diet that emphasizes whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy can improve high blood pressure, adds Mayo Clinic. Foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats should be avoided; when eliminated from the diet, blood pressure readings may reduce by 14 millimeters of mercury. If sodium consumption is reduced to below 2,300 milligrams a day, an additional 9 millimeters of mercury can be further subtracted. Both caffeine and tobacco can raise blood pressure by 10 millimeters of mercury. While a single drink can be lower blood pressure readings, multiple drinks increase pressure and reduce the effectiveness of medications.

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