Your Ultimate Guide to Healthy Blood Pressure

Your Ultimate Guide to Healthy Blood Pressure

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the amount of force your blood flows through your arteries. With every beat, your heart pumps oxygen-rich blood through your arteries. This happens 60-100 times in a minute, 24 hours a day. If your blood pressure is too high, it can cause several health issues.

There is a difference between blood pressure and heartbeat. Blood pressure is how forcefully your blood travels through your blood vessels. Whereas heart rate is the number of times your heart beats in a single minute to transport oxygenated blood to your body.

The elevated heart rate doesn’t mean that your blood pressure is also high. The only way to know your blood pressure is to measure it with a blood pressure cuff and gauge.

Your blood pressure is always changing. It all depends on what you are doing. When you are exercising or feeling excited, your blood pressure goes up. When you are resting, your blood pressure is lower. Your blood pressure also depends on other factors such as genetics, age, medication you take etc.

Normal blood pressure range is <120/<80 millimetres of mercury. Elevated blood pressure is when readings consistently range from 120-129 millimetres systolic and less than 80 millimetres diastolic.

Systolic pressure means the pressure when your heart pushes blood out.

Diastolic pressure means the pressure when your heart rests between beats.

High blood pressure is the silent killer. It can damage your heart, kidneys and brain before you know anything wrong about it. High blood pressure is one of the main reasons behind most cardiovascular diseases. High blood pressure can cause:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Enlarged heart
  • Heart failure Kidney diseases
  • Broken blood vessels in your eyes.

Who is at risk of high blood pressure?

  • Anyone with a family history of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
  • Older age is a common factor for high blood pressure.
  • Anyone with high cholesterol levels.
  • An individual with diabetes.
  • Have obesity.
  • Use tobacco products.
  • A person with a high salt diet.
  • An individual with no exercise routine.

When is blood pressure checked?

People with normal blood pressure can check their blood pressure once in six months. However, people with high blood pressure need to track their blood pressure at home from several times a day to once a week.

You should check your blood pressure reading at the same time every day.

You can take 2-3 readings one after the other with an interval of one minute. When you are done, figure out the average of the two or three readings you took.

Sometimes your health provider may suggest you wear a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours. The monitor is usually set to take blood pressure every 15 to 30 minutes while you do your normal activities.

How to stay in a good blood pressure range?

  • Maintain ideal weight.
  • Adopt a regular exercise routine.
  • Eat a well-balanced and healthy diet low in salt and cholesterol.
  • Eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits regularly.
  • Limiting alcohol intake. Manage stress.
  • Avoid all tobacco and nicotine products.

Other lifestyle changes include managing lipid levels (LDL, cholesterol, triglycerides) and managing other health conditions, such as diabetes. Take all medications as prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop or start taking any medication without talking to your doctor. Blood pressure medication does not keep working after you stop taking it.

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