Blood pressure is one of the most important measures of your long term health, if not the most important. More than your weight, the range of your blood pressure can give you a quick picture of your health future. In short, blood pressure is the measure of force against your blood vessels, the passages that transport nutrients and keep you alive. It is important to understand blood pressure and what lifestyle choices you can adopt to keep blood pressure in a safe range.
Measurements of blood pressure are reported as two numbers:
- Systolic pressure, or pressure when your heart is beating
- Diastolic pressure, or pressure when your heart is at rest
-Hypertension is when you blood pressure is 140/90mmhg or above most of the time
-If your blood pressure numbers are 120/80, or higher, but below 140/90, it is called pre-hypertension
The Risks of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
High blood pressure causes damage to your veins and arteries. The repair of damage is never perfect, leaving scaring and potential sites for plaque buildup. The result, called Atherosclerosis, is increasingly smaller passages for blood and higher blood pressure, creating a vicious cycle of increasing blood pressure and blood vessel damage. Via this arterial damage, high blood pressure leads to strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, arterial aneurysm, and chronic renal failure.
Blood pressure can be controlled by maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a balanced diet and using medication appropriately if prescribed by a doctor. Eating lots of vegetables and fruit, moderating alcohol intake, adopt a form of exercise which you can keep, and cutting back on sodium [salt] can also help. Further, methods should be practiced to reduce stress in your everyday life. Activities from taking a walk can help to reduce stress and lower blood pressure.
Since high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease, it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly and take steps to keep blood pressure within a healthy range.
Visit a dietitian to help you manage your diet adequately.