How to Lower Systolic Blood Pressure Naturally

Two young athlete
A man is exercising on a treadmill. (Image: OlegPhotoR/iStock/Getty Images)

A blood pressure measurement contains two numbers. The top number is called the systolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure when the heart beats and pumps blood. The bottom number, or diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. A systolic pressure over 140 mmHg is considered high. A person can have a high systolic reading and a normal diastolic reading. This is called isolated systolic hypertension. Medications may be needed to lower a person's systolic pressure, but in some cases, lifestyles changes can lower blood pressure and prevent complications such as stroke, heart disease and kidney disease.

Lifestyle Changes

Step 1

Exercise 30 minutes a day.

Step 2

Maintain a healthy weight. MayoClinic.com states that decreasing weight by 5 lbs. can reduce systolic pressure.

Step 3

Quit smoking. Smoking damages blood vessels and causes the arteries to harden.

Step 4

Buy a home blood pressure monitoring machine at a local drugstore and take a blood pressure reading daily. Knowing whether or not lifestyle changes are decreasing systolic blood pressure can help a person and his doctor form an appropriate treatment plan.

Step 5

Stop adding salt to your food and limit your sodium intake. Healthy adults should limit sodium to 2,400 mg a day. People with isolated systolic hypertension who reduce sodium to 1,500 mg a day can significantly reduce systolic pressure.

Step 6

Follow the DASH diet.

DASH Diet

Step 1

Eat two to four servings of vegetables a day.

Step 2

Eat fruit. Add a serving of fruit to you lunch and dinner or have a serving of fruit as a snack. Use fruits canned in their own juices. Carry dry fruits for a quick snack.

Step 3

Eat no more than 6 oz. of meat a day. Limit meat consumption to two servings of 3 oz. of meat, which is about the size of a deck of cards.

Step 4

Eat dairy products. Increase dairy products to three servings a day. Replace soda, alcohol or sweet tea with 1 percent or fat-free dairy products.

Step 5

Use butter, margarine and salad dressings sparingly. Try low-fat or fat-free condiments.

Step 6

Snack on popcorn without butter or salt, low-fat yogurt, raw vegetables, graham crackers, unsalted nuts and unsalted pretzels.

Things You'll Need

  • Home monitoring blood pressure equipment

  • Notebook

  • Pen

  • Exercise equipment

Tip

A person should write down his daily blood pressure reading in a notebook to share with his doctor.

Warning

People with isolated systolic blood hypertension should be under the care of a physician. A person should always follow his doctor's instruction regarding medications or other treatments.

A person should always speak to his healthcare provider before starting an exercise program.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.