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How to Lower the Bottom Number on a Blood Pressure Reading

author image Lori Rice
Lori Rice is a freelance health and travel writer. As an avid traveler and former expat, she enjoys sharing her experiences and tips with other enthusiastic explorers. Rice received a master's degree in nutritional sciences and a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, fitness and health.
How to Lower the Bottom Number on a Blood Pressure Reading
How to Lower the Bottom Number on a Blood Pressure Reading Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

The bottom number of your blood pressure reading is your diastolic blood pressure. It is the measure of the pressure of the blood on your vessels between beats, or when the heart is resting as it refills with blood before pumping it out again. According to the American Heart Association, diastolic hypertension, or a bottom number of 90 mm Hg or higher, is most often a concern before age 50. If you have a high diastolic blood pressure, there are several practices that can help you lower the number to the optimum level of less than 80 mm Hg.

Step 1

Maintain a healthy weight and lose weight if you need to. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a normal or healthy weight is classified by a body bass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 24.9. BMI is an indicator of whether you are underweight, of normal weight, overweight or obese, based on your height and weight.

Step 2

Keep track of your sodium intake and lower it if you need to. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommend an intake of less than 2,400 mg of sodium per day to help prevent high blood pressure. Check the nutrition labels of all packaged foods to determine the amount of sodium in one serving and reduce the amount of table salt you add to your food. One teaspoon of table salt is equal to about 2,400 mg of sodium.

Step 3

Be physically active at least five days per week. This can include a walk, working in your yard or vigorous housecleaning, all which can be classified as moderate intensity activity. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular activity at least five days per week.

Step 4

Limit your intake of alcoholic beverages, if you drink. The American Heart Association recommends no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men. One drink is classified as one 12-oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine or 1.5 oz. of 80-proof distilled spirits.

Step 5

Listen to your doctor and take any prescribed medications for lowering your blood pressure exactly as directed.

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