Lowering Blood Pressure
by Losing Weight

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites


Does weight have an effect on blood pressure?

Can losing just a few pounds assist in getting blood pressure to a healthy level or at minimum, decrease blood pressure readings?

Yes indeed.

The Fatter the Body, the Harder the Heart Must Work

The heart must work harder in order to pump blood throughout the body in the overweight individual. Hypertension is simply the pressure of blood in the main arteries of the body.

Therefore, if an individual suffers from hypertension and weight problems, there is significant stress placed on the heart and lungs.

When we are placed in stressful situations, or when we perform physical activity, our blood pressure increases as a normal response. In the individual who suffers from hypertension, blood pressure readings remain high even when the body is at rest.

Many times, losing weight can keep blood pressure at a normal rate.

I'm a very good example of that. At one point many years ago before I lost over 100 pounds, my blood pressure was 179 over 113 - potentially stroke level. I was on beta blockers as a form of treatment that came with terrible side effects.

After losing weight, my blood pressure declined to normal levels and I was able to get off the medication. That was several years ago and I remain drug-free with a normal blood pressure reading.

Activity also helps in keeping blood pressure within the acceptable range and can assist in bringing unhealthy blood pressure readings to a lower level.

As we age, our blood pressure readings tend to naturally increase.

There are two numbers that indicate an individual's blood pressure reading. These two number are stacked onto one another much like a fraction. The top number is defined as the Systolic reading. Normally it is higher than the bottom number and indicates or measures the pressure inside the arteries as the heart beats - more specifically as the heart muscles contract.

The bottom number is referred to as Diastolic and it measures pressure in the arteries between the heart beats, when the heart muscle is at rest between the beats and is filling with blood.

Blood Pressure Readings, Normal, Stages 1 & 2, Hypertensive Crisis

The American Heart Association defines blood pressure readings as follows:

Blood Pressure Rating

Systolic, upper number

Diastolic, lower number


less than 120

less than 80




High Blood Pressure, Stage 1



High Blood Pressure, State 2

160 or higher

100 or higher

Hypertensive Crisis, Emergency Assistance Needed

Higher than 180

Higher than 110

In Summary

Exercise to get unhealthy blood pressure readings under control and couple exercise with a healthy diet.

If you need to lose pounds, doing such could not only equal weight loss but might save you from having to go on medications to treat your high blood pressure and the uncomfortable side-effects.

Losing weight may even save your life or increase life span.


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