To help make lifelong heart-healthy changes, try making one change at a time

To help make lifelong heart-healthy changes, try making one change at a time

  • Get enough good-quality sleep. The recommended amount for adults is 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day. Develop healthy sleep habits by going to sleep and getting up at regular times, following a calming bedtime routine, and keeping your bedroom cool and dark.

Changing habits can be hard. Add another change when you feel comfortable with the previous one. You’re more likely to manage your blood pressure when you practice several of these healthy lifestyle habits together and can keep them up.


When healthy lifestyle changes alone do not control or lower high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe blood pressure medicines. These medicines act in different ways to lower blood pressure. When prescribing medicines, your doctor will also consider their effect on other conditions you might have, such as heart disease or kidney disease.

Keep up your healthy lifestyle changes while taking these medicines. The combination of the medicines and the heart-healthy lifestyle changes can help control and lower your high blood pressure and prevent heart disease.

Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about side effects from the medicines. He or she may change the dose or prescribe a new medicine. To manage high blood pressure, many people need to take two or more medicines. This is more likely in African American adults.

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors to keep your blood vessels from narrowing as much.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) to keep blood vessels from narrowing.
  • Calcium channel blockers to prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels. This allows blood vessels to relax.
  • Diuretics to remove extra water and sodium (salt) from your body, reducing the amount of fluid in your blood. The main diuretic for high blood pressure treatment is thiazide. Diuretics are often used with other high blood pressure medicines, sometimes in one combined pill.
  • Beta blockers to help your heart beat slower and with less force. As a result, your heart pumps less blood through your blood vessels. Beta blockers are typically used only as a backup option or if you have other conditions.

Living With – High Blood Pressure

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is important that you continue your treatment plan. You will need regular follow-up care and may want to learn how to monitor your condition at home. Your doctor may need to change or add medicines to your treatment plan over time.

Let your healthcare team know if you are planning to become pregnant. Read the High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy section for more information.

Manage your condition

Keep up your treatment plan, including healthy lifestyle changes, to help control your blood pressure and prevent heart disease. Making lifestyle changes and remembering your medicine every day can be hard, but there are ways to help.

  • Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about apps for monitoring and tracking your blood pressure. They also may know a way to get texts to remind you to take your medicine every day and notify you when it’s time to fill your prescription.
  • Get support from loved ones and others in your community. You can share the Supporting Your Loved One with High Blood Pressure tip sheet with them.
  • Have regular medical checkups and tests, as your doctor advises. Ask questions and discuss your progress. Let your doctor know if you have any new conditions or have been taking new medicines since your last appointment.
  • Your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure at home or other locations that have blood pressure equipment. Return to Screening for reminders on how to prepare for blood pressure testing and how to take your blood pressure yourself.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.