Getting a Handle on Your Blood Pressure
Your blood is constantly pushing against the walls of your blood vessels. Blood pressure measures the force of blood on artery walls when the heart is pumping and when it is at rest.
How is it Measured?
Blood pressure is measured by systolic and diastolic pressure using a blood pressure cuff. Traditionally, this was a manual measurement with the around your upper arm, but automatic machines are becoming more and more prevalent. Systolic is seen as the top number and is the pressure in the vessels when the heart is beating. Diastolic is seen as the bottom number and is the pressure in between beats of the heart when it is relaxed.
What Leads to High Blood Pressure?
-A diet high in salt
Risks of Having High Blood Pressure
Consistently high blood pressure, or hypertension, is diagnosed when a person’s blood pressure is greater than 140 systolic pressure and/or 90 diastolic pressure. This can lead to damaged blood vessels, and an increased risk of heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, and stroke and often times there are no visible symptoms.
What Can I Do to Control by Blood Pressure?
-Maintain a healthy weight
-Eat more fruits and vegetables, up to 9 servings a day
-Decrease sodium intake to no more than 1,500mg