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Reducing blood pressure in a healthy, young(ish) male
denverrunner posted:
Hi all. About me: I'm 38, 5'9/160 pounds, I run six miles a day, six days a week, do 150 or so pushups daily, and usually do something athletic (ski, hike, etc.) on the seventh day. I run a marathon every few years and am generally competitive (sub-3:00; I'm usually in the top 20 or so in mid-sized races).

I also have pretty high blood pressure -- 150/100 as of the last physical. I'm trying to stave off medication as long as possible -- at least until my mid 40s (when my dad started taking bp medication).

Anyway, the doctor has me on a super-low sodium diet and complete alcohol abstinence (grrr). Anything else I could do? For example, I know that losing weight for overweight people can cut blood pressure. What about people in the normal range? I'm sure I could lose 10-12 pounds pretty easily. Increase exercise? Any supplements?

Thanks in advance!
kjme11374 responded:
Make sure you are NOT using any ADDED Salt. THere are a lot of products that you can use to season food that are salt free. I've actually learned to use lemon, Mrs. dash, tomato sauce (Unsalted).

Never take supplements without checking with your doctor. Even with no added salt, and using low sodium products (which STILL have sodium), I have hard time staying under 1500mg per day of sodium.

Originally I joined Weight Watchers in June 2012..I've lost about 30 lbs and changed diet. I WAS OFF my cholesterol and BP meds. . . . . . . UNTIL I had a heart attack in nov 2013, and now I'm back on all the meds.

Last point....make sure your doctor has approved all your activity......(and losing a little weight COULD help...just dont go "overboard" with a diet. Portion control is key.....VERY LEAN meats, less red meat......
billh99 responded:
Often increasing foods with potassium have more of an effect on controlling blood pressure than reducing sodium.

Some OTC drugs can raise BP. That includes NSAID's and some cold/allergy meds.

Also ingredients in supplements are uncontrolled and many of them can have side effects that include increasing BP.

Foods high in niacin and nitrates help lower BP.

complete alcohol abstinence (grrr).

Light to moderate alcohol (1 - 2) drinks a day can help lower BP.

Stress and/or anxiety can increase BP.

And I wonder if you might be over stressing your body with the amount of exercise that you are doing. The body does need time to recovery between sessions.

I would get a BP machine and monitor the effect of any changes. Note that there is lots of variation from time to time. You will want to take it twice a day and average for about 2 weeks.

Helpful Tips

Walk a Little
Just taking a short walk can help your blood pressure. More
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