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Healthy habits to lower blood pressure: By Michelle Khoury, DO
February 9, 2015

Often times, patients often ask if they can stop taking their blood pressure medications.  We know many effective ways to lower blood pressure without medications.  If you are willing to adopt healthy habits, it is likely you will require less medication for blood pressure, and may even be able to stop taking medication for blood pressure.  Healthy habits are especially effective for those people who have borderline high blood pressure, but do not yet take medications.  They can delay or prevent the onset of hypertension by adopting healthy habits. 


These are some healthy habits you can do to lower your blood pressure: 


  • exercise
  • eat a low sodium, low fat diet
  • drink moderate alcohol
  • lose weight
  • stop smoking


Exercising 30 minutes per day helps lower your blood pressure.  It does not have to be a strenuous workout at the gym.  Some people are simply not capable of that kind of exercise.  Do what you are able to do.  Walking on a treadmill or in a shopping mall is an example of beneficial exercise.  Riding a bike, either actual or stationary is also helpful.  People with arthritis in the joints benefit greatly from water activities. 


Eating a low sodium, low fat diet not only helps you lose weight, it also lowers your blood pressure.  The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a well-established diet that can be found on the internet.  It has been shown to help reduce blood pressure and promote weight loss.  For more information about the DASH diet, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website at www.nhlbi.nih.gov.


Losing weight by any method that you chose helps lower blood pressure.  Most people will lose weight if they follow a low fat, low sodium diet and exercise regularly.  For many people, losing weight is the goal that they are aiming for, but it gives the added benefit of lowering blood pressure. 


Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can also lower blood pressure.  A moderate amount for a woman is one drink per day.  A moderate amount for a man is two drinks per day.  If you take medications that interfere with alcohol, it may not be safe for you to drink any alcohol at all, but for others it can be beneficial in these amounts. 


Stopping smoking is an important way to lower blood pressure.  Not only does the smoking cause high blood pressure, it is another risk factor for heart attacks.  If you smoke and have high blood pressure, you have a much greater risk for having a heart attack.  If you are ready to quit smoking and have been unsuccessful quitting on your own, you may benefit from medication to help you quit.  I help my patients quit smoking on a regular basis and would be happy to help you as well. 


We at Madison Health Primary Care manage high blood pressure as well as help our patients adopt healthy habits.


Dr. Michelle Khoury is a family physician at Madison Health Primary Care in London.  To make an appointment, please call 740-845-7500. The practice is currently accepting new patients, including adults and children.




Wexler, Randy, MD, MPH and Glen Auckerman, MD, The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “Nonpharmacologic Strategies for Managing Hypertension.” American Family Physician. 2006 Jun 1;73(11):1953-1956.

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