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High Blood Pressure (cont.)

Self-Care at Home

The management and control of high blood pressure involves two major options, lifestyle modification and medication.

Lifestyle Modifications to Manage High Blood Pressure

Weight Control

  • Aim for a healthy weight range for your height and body type. Your health care practitioner can help you calculate a healthy target weight.
  • Even a small amount of weight loss can make a major difference in lowering or preventing high blood pressure.
  • You must burn more calories than you take in to lose weight.
  • Crash or fad diets are not helpful and may be dangerous.
  • Some weight loss medications also carry major risks and may even elevate blood pressure, and great caution is advised in using these drugs. Please ask your health care practitioner or pharmacist for help in deciding if a weight loss medication is appropriate for your situation.

Exercise or Increase Physical Activity

  • Physical activity reduces total cholesterol and bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein or LDL) and raises the good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein or HDL).
  • Both the American Heart Association (AHA) and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week.
  • Physical activity includes many daily activities such as cleaning the house, raking the lawn, and walking. Other possible sources of activity can include using the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator, walking for errands instead of driving a car, and participating in a sport or social activity such dancing.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/2/2014

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