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Keep your blood pressure in check

Tips on lowering the risk high blood pressure

Nearly half of adults in the United States have hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, which puts you at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. It can be caused by lifestyle, certain health conditions, environment or genetics, along with other factors.

keep your blood pressure in checkWhat is high blood pressure? 

High blood pressure is when your blood pressure is consistently higher than normal throughout the day. A normal blood pressure reading is around 120/80 mm Hg. The first number – 120 – is your systolic blood pressure and the second number – 80 – is your diastolic blood pressure. As your systolic blood pressure increases, so does how hard your heart is working as it beats. As your diastolic blood pressure increases, so does the stress on your heart in between beats.

Track your blood pressure 

Unfortunately, there are few symptoms of high blood pressure. Measuring your blood pressure regularly is the best way to find out if you have it. Doctor’s offices and pharmacies have blood pressure cuffs you can use, or you can purchase one to have at home. 

Tips to help you manage high blood pressure

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends these tips to help prevent high blood pressure:

Eat healthy 

Eat nutritious foods high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains can be great for your body and help lower blood pressure. Choosing foods that are lower in sodium and saturated fats can also help. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s eating plan offers tips for how your diet can help you prevent or lower high blood pressure.


Find ways to be more active. Look for activities that you enjoy doing to keep you motivated. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day, five days a week. Moderate-intensity exercise includes walking, jogging, cycling or swimming.

Stop smoking

Don't smoke or quit smoking if you do. Smoking raises your blood pressure and puts more strain on your heart and lungs. If you smoke and want to quit, talk to your doctor about resources available to you. 

Limit alcohol

Don’t drink, or limit alcohol if you do drink. Men should have no more than two alcoholic drinks per day and women no more than one per day.

Get sleep

Make sure you are getting good-quality sleep. This can help keep your heart, lungs and blood vessels healthy.

Talk to your doctor

There are many things that can affect your blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about high blood pressure and how you can prevent or manage it. Your doctor can help you to make a plan to get your readings in a normal range.

Don’t have a doctor? You can find one by using our Find Care tool or on our member app by selecting Find Care. Make sure you are logged in so you see providers in your network.


Posted: May 18, 2022

Updated: April 25, 2023