Managing Weight to Control High Blood Pressure

women in an exercise class

Losing even a few pounds may make a difference

Maintaining a healthy weight provides many health benefits. If you are overweight, losing as little as five to 10 pounds may help lower your blood pressure.

A few great reasons to manage your weight:

  • Being overweight puts you at greater risk of developing health problems.
  • A little weight loss can bring a lot of health gains. Did you know you might experience health benefits from losing as few as 10 pounds? Even a small weight loss can help manage or prevent high blood pressure in many overweight people (those with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater).
  • Weight loss reduces the strain on your heart. Being overweight puts extra strain on your heart, increasing the risk for developing high blood pressure and damage to your blood vessels that can lead to serious health threats.

Increasing activity in order to lose weight

If your doctor recommends that you lose weight, there’s a simple rule to follow: move more, eat less and make smarter food choices. Gradually increase your level of physical activity beyond the AHA recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, lower the number of calories you take in and eat a healthy diet. Once you’re at your goal weight, you can then determine which dietary and fitness choices work best for maintaining your weight.

  • The two essentials to maintaining a healthy weight are:
  • If you need to lose weight, talk to your health care professional about a healthy approach.
    For example, your doctor can help you figure out how many calories you need for weight loss and advise you on which types of activities are best.

Download fact sheets on healthy weight loss (PDF) and maintaining a healthy weight (PDF) | Spanish (PDF).