From time to time students will come to see me with mildly elevated blood pressure. The goal is to have a blood pressure reading that is < 120/80. I don’t typically start medications unless the blood pressure is > 140/90.
If you find your blood pressure slightly elevated, how do you go about lowering it without resorting to medications?
- Control your weight, striving to keep your BMI < 25, through a good diet and regular exercise.
- Diet – the D.A.S.H diet has been shown to lower blood pressure. Information on this diet can be found at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topcis/dash/.
- Exercise – strive for at least 30 minutes 4 times a week.
- No smoking
- Keep alcohol at a minimum, no more than 1 drink daily for women and 2 drinks daily for men.
- Monitor your blood pressure, there are BP machines in the RPAC near the Sport Shop on the ground floor.
After making the above changes for 3 months, schedule an appointment with your health care provider for a re-evaluation.
Douglas Radman, M.D.