Blood PressureIt should be a simple question – Do You Know Your Blood Pressure?

In the UK, Fitness Trackers have taken us by storm, with many of us calculating our sleep, our steps, our activity levels, inclines climbed. As well as knowing the macro nutrients and calorie intakes of the foods we have consumed.

However, many of us will be unaware of such a vital statistic as to what our blood pressure is…

This is not entirely surprising, as unless you have an existing illness, are on medication, regularly visit the Doctor’s or have unexplained symptoms, you could go years without the need for it to be checked.

Without being alarmist, it is known as the ‘Silent Killer’, and that is because often people can have no symptoms, despite suffering with Hypertension. Shockingly, for many, it is only when they have a stroke or heart attack, that they realise they had an underlying condition such as high blood pressure.

New Guidelines

Earlier this year NICE (The National Institute for Clinical Excellence), updated the guidelines surrounding blood pressure.

Blood Pressure is governed by two numbers:

Systolic – Top Number (maximum pressure point when the heart contracts).

Diastolic – Bottom Number (the point when the heart relaxes – this is defined as when the blood vessels are under the least pressure).

Below or at 120 over 80 is the ideal point.

120 over 80 to 140 over 90 – means you should be taking measures to actively reduce your blood pressure.

140 over 90 – under the new guidelines would be considered high blood pressure, and you may be offered medication as well as lifestyle advice to reduce the number.

How to Get Checked

If you are concerned, or have any other health factors or symptoms then you should see your GP.

Otherwise, your pharmacy may well offer a blood pressure check.

It is worth knowing that some people get ‘white coat hypertension’, i.e. they get a false high reading, as a result of nerves and being in a medical setting. In these cases, it can be useful to purchase a machine and take regular readings at home to get a benchmark.

Easy Steps Everyone Can Take to Reduce Blood Pressure

  • Lose excess weight.
  • Eat a balanced diet, with plenty of lean protein, wholegrains and diverse amounts of fruit and vegetables.
  • 150 minutes of moderate activity per week.
  • Keep alcohol to 14 units per week.
  • Reduce salt intake.

It is estimated that 62000 deaths occur in the UK unnecessarily each year from strokes and heart attacks, as a result of poor blood pressure control. So, ACT NOW!