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Controlling Blood Pressure

You can make changes to your lifestyle that will help you control your blood pressure. Your doctor might prescribe medications that can help you. By controlling your blood pressure, you will lower your risk for the harmful effects of high blood pressure.

Work with Your Health Care Team

Team-based care that includes you, your doctor, and other health care providers can help reduce and control blood pressure.1

If you already have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medications and lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes are just as important as medications. Follow your doctor's instructions and stay on your medications. Do not stop taking your medications before talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

All drugs may have side effects, so talk to your doctor regularly. As your blood pressure improves, your doctor will check it often.

Make Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes can help you control your blood pressure.

  • Diet. Eat a healthy diet that is:
    • Low in salt (sodium), total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
    • High in fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Be active. Try taking a brisk 10-minute walk 3 times a day 5 days a week.
  • Do not smoke. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible. Visit for tips on quitting.

These lifestyle changes for blood pressure control are similar to those for preventing high blood pressure.


  1. Guide to Community Preventive Services. Cardiovascular disease prevention and control: team-based care to improve blood pressure control Web site. Accessed June 24, 2014.