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Health Spotlight: ways to lower blood pressure

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Ways to lower blood pressure without medicine are featured in Friday’s Health Spotlight.

Half of the adults in United States have high blood pressure. A high blood pressure reading is 130 over 80 or higher and, if not controlled, the common condition can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Now, some natural ways exist to lower blood pressure.

Only about 1 in 4 people have their high blood pressure under control. Medication can help, but, Dr. Daniel Muñoz, an associate professor in the Division of Cardiology at Vanderbilt University said that “medications can be tough to take. They can be complicated to take.”

Other ways beyond medications can lower blood pressure.

First, experts recommend get moving a lot. A study from Japan found getting moderate physical exercise from 30-60 minutes per week decreased blood pressure for people with untreated high blood pressure. Exercising from 61-90 minutes reduced it even further.

Next, cut salt intake. One common but lesser-known cause of high blood pressure is salt sensitivity, where the body fails to eliminate excess salt. The American Heart Association recommends an intake of no more than 2.3 grams of salt per day — that’s about a teaspoon’s worth — with the ideal amount being 1.5 grams or less.

Losing weight can also help. Muñoz said, “If everybody in America lost 10 pounds, the health of this nation would skyrocket.”

Researchers found that even losing around 4.5 pounds resulted in lowered blood pressure.

In one study, 42% of the participants no longer had high blood pressure after losing the weight.

Finally, for coffee lovers, there’s some good news. A study in Italy found people who drank two to three cups of coffee per day had significantly lower blood pressure than people who don’t drink coffee.

This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.