Lose some weight, then keep it off.
Research shows that losing weight helps to lower blood pressure—but you must maintain a lower weight in order to reap the benefits, experts say. "People who are heavier tend to develop high blood pressure," says Ralph Sacco, president-elect of AHA and chairman of neurology at University of Miami School of Medicine. He notes that even modest weight loss makes a difference. Still, a body mass index of lower than 25 should be your goal in order to attain ideal cardiovascular health, according to the American Heart Association.