Having high blood pressure can be very harmful to the body because it causes the heart to work harder than normal. Having high blood pressure increases the risk for heart attacks, strokes, kidney failures, and other heart related diseases.
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms hence the name silent killer. Many people have high blood pressure levels and never even know about it. The only way to know is to get your pressure checked.
It is not certain what causes high blood pressure but there are certain factors that increase ones chance for getting high blood pressure.
- High sodium diet.
- Being over weight
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Inactive lifestyle
- Certain medications (always talk with your doctor about medications you are taking – some medications increase blood pressure)
Blood Pressure Readings
What exactly do the numbers mean when you have your blood pressure taken? The systolic pressure is the higher number which represents the pressure exerted as the heart beats. The diastolic pressure is the lower number which represents the pressure exerted by the heart in between beats. The systolic pressure is always read before the diastolic, so you get a higher number over a lower number ex: 120 (systolic) / 70 (diastolic)
Here is a chart of blood pressure readings and where yours stands. If your blood pressure is above normal you need to change your habits and work to lower it. Advice for those with higher blood pressure can be found below the chart
Less than 120
Less than 130
140 or higher
Less than 80
Less than 85
90 or higher
Have High Blood Pressure?
Just because you have high blood pressure does not mean it’s too late. There are many options you can do to reduce your pressure. First talk with your doctor to determine the most effective approach in lowering it. Main ways to lower it are to modify your diet by reducing sodium, trans fats, alcohol intake. Begin to add more fiber, vegetables and lean proteins in your diet and of course… EXERCISE! Your heart is a muscle and needs to be worked just like anything else you can join a gym,class or higher a personal trainer to help you reach your goals.
Stay healthy and be happy!