Along with diet, exercise should really be number one on this list. Nothing can replace what exercise does for the body, and in a society where we are becoming increasingly sedentary, it can take a bit more effort to get out and get moving-but it’s worth it, especially if you have high blood pressure. The heart is a muscle, and it will grow stronger with exercise. It becomes easier to pump blood and takes less effort, keeping your heart in better condition and lowering how much force it exerts on your arteries, thus lowering blood pressure. Exercise is, in many cases, all that you need to get your blood pressure back on track. The top number in a blood pressure reading indicates systolic blood pressure, which is created by the heart pumping blood away from it. Exercise can lower this reading by an average of 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (a unit of pressure), which is easily as much as some prescription blood pressure medications. A pleasant side effect of exercise is weight loss, which also does your heart and arteries a great favor.