Blood pressure is a measurement of the force that the heart uses to pump blood around the body. It is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and given as two figures such as systolic pressure which is the pressure when the heart pumps out blood and diastolic or pressure when the heart rests between beats. An ideal blood pressure reading is between 90/60-120/80mmHg. High blood pressure is 140/90mmHg or even higher and 90/60mmHg or lower is considered low blood pressure.
High blood pressure can be caused by having unhealthy lifestyle habits such as excessive drinking of alcohol, smoking, being overweight and lack of exercise. A blood pressure that is not properly controlled increases the risk of developing serious conditions such as kidney disease and coronary heart disease.
There are 2 types of high blood pressure – primary or essential high blood pressure which is the most common and secondary high blood pressure which is caused by another medical condition or using certain medications.
- Blood pressure usually increases as weight increases. Avoid being overweight to prevent disruption while sleeping or sleep apnea which results to high blood pressure. Being overweight increases the risk of high blood pressure.
- Perform exercises regularly at least 30 minutes at 5 days in a week to reduce the blood pressure. If suffering from prehypertension, exercise prevents progression of a full-blown hypertension. Perform exercises such as jogging, walking, cycling, dancing and swimming.
- Eat a healthy diet especially rich in whole grains, nuts, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Increase the consumption of potassium such as fruits and vegetables.
- Minimize consumption of sodium in the diet to lessen the blood pressure
- Drinking alcohol can both be good and bad for the health. Taking it in smaller amounts can lower the blood pressure. Drinking more than the recommended amount can cause a rise in the blood pressure and also lessens the effectiveness of medications.
- Quit smoking.
- Minimize the intake of caffeine.
- Chronic stress can cause high blood pressure and occasional stress can also result to an increase in the blood pressure. Take time to relax and perform activities being enjoyed.
The material posted on this page for high blood pressure is for learning purposes only. If you have a severe case of high blood pressure, consult your local physical. If you want to learn to manage high blood pressure properly, register for a first aid course with a training provider near you.