What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is most commonly known as High Blood Pressure. It is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure is elevated. Many people have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. Most of the time, there are no symptoms, but when high blood pressure goes untreated, it damages arteries and vital organs throughout the body. That's why high blood pressure is often called the "silent killer".Hypertension Is A Global Epidemic!
Globally, 7 million die every year and 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer because of high blood pressure or hypertension. It is the biggest single risk factor for death world wide causing heart disease, stroke and kidney disease and diabetes.What Is World Hypertension Day?
World Hypertension Day has been established to highlight the preventable stroke, heart and kidney diseases caused by high blood pressure and to communicate to the public information on prevention, detection and treatment. Each year, May 17th is designated World Hypertension Day.Three Keys To A Healthy Lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle can have a direct effect on having a healthy blood pressure. Here are three keys to help you get on the road to healthy living.1. Watch Your Weight
In our rapidly changing world, the number of over-weight and obese people is on the rise. Being overweight can lead to hypertension.
A good way to monitor your weight is to regularly keep tabs on your "Body Mass Index". To calculate your Body Mass Index, take your weight (in kilograms), and divide by your height (in meters) squared.2. Make Healthy Food Choices.
Eating healthy is always a good idea. First and foremost, don?t skip meals. Remember, we are trying to create a healthy lifestyle NOT a diet. So, be sure to eat three good meals a day. Here are some good common sense tips to follow.
1) Try to limit portion size.
2) Eat slowly and listen to your body. If you eat fast, you can easily eat too much.
3) Read the labels and choose a lower salt option.
4) Try limiting processed and fast foods like cookies, breakfast cereals, bread, burgers, cakes, pies and pizza. Instead:
3. Live An Active Life
- Increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Think about eating a rainbow of colours everyday. Ask yourself: did you eat your greens today?
- Try making one vegetarian meal a week.
- Eat nuts in their natural form as a quick snack.
- Drink no more than one standard drink of alcohol for women and no more than two for men.
Your body was born to move. So, get active with anything you love. Biking, swimming, gardening, whatever makes you happy can't help but be good for you! And if you?re starved for time, remember ten minutes of simple exercise, a couple of times a day, really adds up.
What Is A Healthy Blood Pressure?
- Walking up the stairs at work.
- Park your car and walk a block or two.
- Turn up the music and dance!
- Go for a walk at lunch.
- If you work at a desk, get up every hour, stretch, walk around.
- Play with your kids, grandkids or neighbours outdoors.
- If you are considering doing weights check with your physician before starting.
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force applied against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. The force and amount of blood pumped, and the size and flexibility of the arteries determine your blood pressure number. A reading consists of two numbers, for example: 120/80, which is read as "120 over 80."Know Your Blood Pressure Number.
The first number, systolic blood pressure measures the maximum pressure exerted as the heart contracts. A clinic measurement less than 140 mmHg is generally considered normal for an adult. The lower number indicates diastolic pressure is a measurement taken between beats, when the heart is at rest. Blood pressure measured at home is usually lower than levels recorded by a doctor so self recorded blood pressures below 135 mmHg for the upper systolic reading and below 85 mmHg for the lower diastolic reading are generally desirable.Measure Your Blood Pressure Regularly.
It is important to measure your blood pressure regularly. You can do this yourself at home with an automatic, cuff style bicep (upper arm) monitor. Here are a few tips.
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- Make Sure The Cuff Fits. Before you purchase a machine, measure around your upper arm. Then, choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff.
- Be Still. Don't drink caffeinated beverages or exercise within the 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure.
- Sit Correctly. Sit with your back straight and supported on a hard chair. Do not cross your feet or your arms. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your arm supported on a hard surface with the upper arm at heart level.
- Sit quietly for 4- 5 minutes without talking to anyone before and during recording.
- Take Multiple Readings. Each time you measure, take two or three readings one minute apart and record all the results.
- Measure At The Same Time Daily. Because blood pressure fluctuates it is important to take the readings at the same time each day. Recommended times are first thing in the morning and again in the evening.
- Record All Your Results in a book you can show your health care provider. If your blood pressure is taken routinely and regularly not within normal ranges, seek advice from your doctor.