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Learn about your blood pressure. Being health savvy and getting your blood pressure checked at regular intervals is good self-care practice

Blood pressure is the force of blood that presses against the walls of your arteries. Many things cause blood pressure values to alter such as exercise, anxiety, age and fitness level.

Even smoking and drinking habits, as well as body weight and medications, are all culprits that contribute to hypertension.

Normal blood pressure ranges around 120/80. The  two figures that are quoted when blood pressure is measured are a systolic and a diastolic pressure. The top number of the two readings is called the systolic pressure that shows when your heart is beating.The lower number, known as the diastolic pressure, measures the resting period between heartbeats while your heart refills with blood.

If both of these pressures exceed safe levels, then high blood pressure or hypertension is diagnosed

When your blood pressure is too high, it forces your heart to work harder to pump blood through your body. Over time this can cause narrowing and damage to your arteries and eventually elevate your risk for stroke; heart or kidney disease.

You may be unaware that you have hypertension because there are no visual or outward symptoms of it. You should get to know your numbers and understand their meaning.

You can help to prevent or treat hypertension by:

  • Keeping your weight within reasonable limits, this helps to significantly reduce high blood pressure. Other lifestyle modifications include reducing salt or sodium intake and eating healthy.
  • It is important to realize that smoking is particularly injurious so quitting smoking is also a healthy choice.
  • In addition, maintaining physical fitness is critical in blood pressure reduction, a daily exercise routine can help lower blood pressure significantly.
  • More often than not anxiety and stress appears to exist with high blood pressure.Good stress management interventions are beneficial to reducing high blood pressure.

Best health practices make so much sense and you have a major role to play in keeping your blood pressure in check