Half of the adults in the united states have high blood pressure.

A high blood pressure reading is 130 over 80 or higher; but if not controlled, it can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Only about one in four people have their high blood pressure under control. Medication can help. However…

“Medications can be tough to take. They can be complicated to take,” said Daniel Munoz, MD cardiologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

There are other ways to lower your blood pressure. First, experts recommend getting moving – a lot. A study from Japan found that moderate physical exercise for only 30 to 60 minutes per week decreased blood pressure for those with untreated high blood pressure. Exercising for 61 to 90 minutes reduced it even further.

Next, cut your 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, with the ideal amount being one-point-five grams or less. Losing weight can also help.

“If everybody in America lost 10 pounds, the health of this nation would skyrocket,” said William C. Roberts, MD, executive director at Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute.

Researchers found that even losing around 4.5 pounds resulted in lowered blood pressure. Also, 42% of the participants no longer had high blood pressure after losing the weight.