When it comes to blood pressure readings, the bottom number is called the diastolic blood pressure. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure exerted by the blood on the walls of your arteries when your heart is in a relaxed state.
To get your diastolic blood pressure to go down, you can’t target it alone. You will need to work on getting your overall blood pressure lower.
Here are 13 lifestyle changes that can help you lower your blood pressure.
13 ways to lower your blood pressure
1. Maintain a healthy weight
2. Reduce central obesity
Having excess fat around the waistline puts you at risk of hypertension and related heart disease. You can reduce the fat around your middle through various exercises, including jogging, walking, hiking, rowing, swimming and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
3. Stay physically active
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends doing 90-150 minutes of physical activity spread throughout the week or at least 30 minutes each day for at least 5 days a week.
4. Quit smoking
Smoking causes the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels that leads to high blood pressure. Try to quit smoking and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Ask your doctor if you need help figuring out the best way to do this. Joining a program designed to help you quit smoking may help.
5. Get enough sleep
6. Manage stress
Stress releases hormones that temporarily raise blood pressure. Learn to manage stress by doing activities that relax you and make you feel good. These may include simple things like taking a long walk in nature, listening to music, or pursuing hobbies you enjoy. You can also try deep breathing and meditation techniques.
7. Eat heart-healthy foods
- Whole grains
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy products
- Fatty fish
- Lean meat
- Skinless chicken or turkey
8. Stay away from saturated and trans fats
9. Reduce your sodium intake
Keep an eye on how much salt you eat, since salt can increase blood pressure. Limit your salt intake to 1,500 milligrams or less per day. Avoid packaged, processed foods which typically contain more sodium.
10. Increase your potassium intake
11. Avoid too much sugar
Avoid foods and drinks that contain added sugars, like soft drinks, cakes, pastries, cookies and candies.
12. Cut back on caffeine and alcohol
Drink alcohol in moderation. If you are healthy, follow these general guidelines:
- Men: no more than 2 drinks per day
- Women: no more than 1 drink per day
13. Take medications as prescribed
Take your blood pressure medications as prescribed. To avoid skipping them by accident, set reminders on your phone to make sure you take them on time.
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Cleveland Clinic. 12 Heart-Healthy Foods to Work into Your Diet. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/12-heart-healthy-foods-to-work-into-your-diet/