Blood Pressure

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood against the walls of the arteries. The pressure results when the force created by the heart pumping blood through the arteries meets the force of arteries as they resist the blood flow.

High blood pressure (also known as hypertension), Is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer.” You can go about your normal day without even realizing that you’re damaging your heart, blood vessels, kidneys and other parts or your body. That is until the strain on your system is too much and it starts to not work properly.

Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers:
  • Systolic - The top number is the systolic pressure and represents the pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood.
  • Diastolic - The bottom number is the diastolic pressure which represents the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats.
The higher these numbers are, the greater the potential for damage to your body and risk of having a stroke.


What can I do to improve my blood pressure?

If your results are in the High/At Risk levels, you should follow up with your doctor. If your results are in the urgent care levels, you should seek immediate medical assistance.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is very important in improving your blood pressure and preserving the health of your heart. There are three main contributing factors to high blood pressure: weight, stress, and smoking. Below is a brief explanation for each of these risk factors.

Weight

Often as our weight increases so does our blood pressure which places even more stress upon the heart and arteries. By losing just 10 pounds, we can improve blood pressure. Another important factor to consider is your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

Stress

One of the most common risk factors in many diseases is uncontrolled stress. When your body Is exposed to long periods of stress there will be elevated levels of the stress hormones. This can lead to many physical problems including heart disease, chest pains, irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure.

Smoking

Most people think smoking will only damage your lungs, but those who smoke are much more likely to develop high blood pressure and heart disease.

Smoking increases your heart rate, increases blood clotting and damages the cells In your blood vessels, all of which increase your risk for a heart attack.

The good news is that when a person quits smoking, the body immediately begins to repair this damage.

Blood Pressure
Normal: 119/79 or lower
Borderline/Caution: 120/80 – 139/89
High/At Risk: 140/90 or higher
Urgent Care Level: 160/100 or higher


5 Proactive Health Tips
to Improve Blood Pressure

Cut back on the salt
Read labels and choose reduced sodium products.

Limit the amount of alcohol and caffeine you drink.

Get enough rest and sleep
At least 7 hours every night.

Breathe
Take time to reduce your stress levels
by deep breathing and listening 
to music.

Take your medications as prescribed.


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