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Modify your lifestyle





When you are diagnosed with hypertension, your doctor will prescribe medications to maintain that pressure within the normal values recommended by the American Heart Association, that is, less than 120/80 mmHg. This can be achieved with medication, but it is very important to make changes in lifestyle, one of those changes is the type of daily diet that should be followed, this can certainly help you to have better results and avoid certain complications of high blood pressure.

If you do not have a proper diet you may eat foods that raise your blood pressure and even others that get it lower and you may feel bad. In addition, it is important that you maintain an adequate weight according to what your doctor recommends because certain foods can make you gain weight, and this becomes a risk factor to raise your blood pressure.13


One of the recommendations suggested by doctors is to follow the DASH diet or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet consists of eating fruits, vegetables, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, fish, poultry and nuts.12

To follow the DASH diet, the following proportions of the following foods are recommended. The idea is to achieve a diet of 2000 calories per day and it is simple because they are foods that you normally consume or have at home.





Within the daily diet of a hypertensive patient is the reduction in a considered form of sodium or better known as table salt. Limiting the amount of salt consumed daily can prevent your blood pressure from rising and thus prevent heart disease and stroke.

In addition to following a DASH diet, add little or no salt to your food as it is recommended to consume less than 2300 mg (milligrams) of sodium per day, if you limit your intake to 1500 mg of salt per day, you can get lower your blood pressure even more. 15

Celebrate Life shares some advice regarding the consumption of salt





  • Read labels and compare between products, choose the one that contains less sodium
  • Eat foods with natural sodium in very low amounts such as fruits and vegetables
  • Look for salt substitutes in the supermarket
  • In a restaurant try to ask that your food be prepared without salt or very little
  • Do not add salt to your food when you are ready
  • Use spices and low-sodium sauces when preparing your food
  • Avoid the consumption of processed food






Regular physical activity strengthens the heart, so if you have high blood pressure exercise can help control it and keep it at the ideal values. When the heart gets to pump more blood with less effort, the strength of the arteries decreases and therefore the blood pressure drops and in this way is how doing physical activity benefits patients with arterial hypertension.16

For some patients, constant physical activity can cause blood pressure values ??to decrease between 4 to 9 mmHg, this is as effective as with some medications.


If your family or friends maintain values below 120/80 mmHg, that is, have not yet been diagnosed with hypertension, you can recommend that they exercise as you do since regular exercise can prevent that blood pressure value from increasing with age.

To do physical activity you should not spend hours in the gym to achieve the desired effects on your blood pressure, aerobic activity is quite effective and can be accompanied by flexibility and strengthening exercises. Any physical activity that increases your heart rate and respiratory rate is considered aerobic, we give you some suggestions.17

  • Walk
  • Jogging
  • Riding a bicycle
  • Swim
  • Dance
  • Active sports such as basketball


It is recommended to do at least 30 minutes of daily exercise during 5 days of the week.17 In addition, if you normally spend most of your day sitting down try to make a modification decreasing the amount of time you spend sitting, get up and stretch, go take a glass with water or a short walk.






Consider the following considerations to know when you need your doctor's approval to exercise.16

  • If you are a man and you are over 45 years old and if you are a woman and you are over 55 years old
  • If you are a smoker or stopped smoking 6 months ago
  • If you are overweight
  • If you have diabetes, lung disease or cardiovascular disease
  • If you have suffered a heart attack
  • If you feel pain in your chest, jaw, neck, or extremities while exercising




12. American Academy of Family Physicians . (2017). La dieta DASH: Comida Saludable para Controlar la Hipertensión Arterial. Obtenido de

13. Cleveland Clinic. (2014). Hypertension and Nutrition. Obtenido de Cleveland Clinic :

14. American College of Cardiology. (2011). HIgh Blood Pressure: Using the DASH diet . Obtenido de Cardio Smart:

15. Healthwise. (2017). Presión arterial alta: Consejos de nutrición. Obtenido de Cigna:

16. Mayo Clinic. (2019). El ejercicio: un enfoque libre de drogas para reducir la presión arterial alta. Obtenido de Mayo Clinic:

17. Fundación Española del Corazón. (2019). Hipertensión Arterial y Ejercicio. Obtenido de Fundación del corazón: