6 things you can control to protect your blood pressure

6 things you can control to protect your blood pressure

High blood pressure is a dangerous health condition that can increase risks of heart disease and stroke.

Luckily people can keep their blood pressure under control by having healthy lifestyle habits.

While there are things you want to add to daily life to protect blood pressure such as exercise and good sleep, there are things you want to limit to keep blood pressure healthy.

Here are 6 things can raise blood pressure and you need to keep them in a healthy range:

Salt intake

Our blood pressure is sensitive to sodium, and salt is the main form of sodium in our diet.

The American Heart Association recommends people aim to eat no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.

If this is hard to do, cutting back to 2,400 mg every day could help improve blood pressure and heart health.

A good way to reduce salt intake is to use other spices to replace salt. For example, you can use vinegar and some herbs in your meal and put less salt in it.


Recent research has shown that drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure.

That is why you should reduce the amount of alcohol you drink. Try to limit your alcohol drinking to a moderate level.

This means no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women.

Weight gain

Maintaining a healthy body weight can help reduce risks of many health conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, several cancers, and high blood pressure.

Research has shown that people who are slowly gaining weight can gradually increase their physical activity and reduce their caloric intake until their weight is stable.


While physical activity can help improve your blood pressure, having a sedentary lifestyle, such as sitting all day, can increase your risk of high blood pressure.

Recent research has found that just a few minutes of light activity for people who sit most of the day can lower blood pressure in those with type 2 diabetes.

For example, 3-minute walk breaks during an eight-hour day were linked to a 10-point drop in systolic blood pressure.

Saunas and hot tubs

While saunas have lots of health benefits, AHA suggests that people with high blood pressure should not move back and forth between cold water and hot tubs or saunas.

This could cause an increase in blood pressure.

Drugs containing decongestants

According to AHA, people with high blood pressure should be aware that the use of decongestants may raise blood pressure.

Many over-the-counter (OTC) cold and flu preparations contain decongestants.

Therefore, it is important to read drug labels carefully. Look for warnings for those with high blood pressure and who take blood pressure medications.