The good news: Adopting simple lifestyle habits may actually lower high blood pressure -- or prevent it in the first place, according to Lawrence Appel, M.D., professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore. Make changes one by one or in combination -- whichever's easiest to stick to:
Get 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise, such as swimming, brisk walking, or bicycling, five or six times per week.
Eat a low-fat diet full of fruits and vegetables -- nine servings a day -- plus three daily servings of low-fat milk and dairy products. Cut down on salt, red meat, and sugar.
Keep alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day.