So What Is Blood Pressure, Anyway?

There’s a big number and a small number…if it’s high, that’s bad….and there are machines to measure it at super markets, right? Blood pressure is such an important thing to understand and check frequently but many people don’t know exactly what this health metric is! We are hoping if we can get everyone to better understand it, they’ll want to keep up with it more often!

Blood pressure is the force that blood moves against your artery walls. Imagine water moving through a straw; the water is being forced against the sides of the straw and it can either be high pressure or low pressure. If it is moving smoothly, then blood pressure should be on average, 120/80. The reason there are two numbers is because it is the pressure of blood during a heart beat and a resting beat, which are called systolic (heart beat) and diastolic (resting) pressures.

When blood pressure is high it is called hypertension and can cause serious health problems. The blood is putting so much pressure on the artery walls as it travels to the heart, that it eventually stretches out and weakens the arteries. If you can imagine, this makes the arteries unhealthy and that’s where the issues come in. High blood pressure normally is concurrent with a slew of other health issues which makes it a very serious condition. Eating healthy, getting exercise and avoiding bad habits are all ways in which you can reduce your blood pressure, and overall improve your health! It probably sounds like a broken record, but those are truly the best way to get and stay healthy! You want your heart to big and healthy this holiday season so now that you know what blood pressure is here are some ways you can make it better!

  • First, why don’t you figure out what your blood pressure is! There are machines that can measure it for your at most super markets or stores with pharmacies inside them. To get the most accurate reading, make an appointment to see your doctor and you can discuss how your health is and what your blood pressure number means as far as health goes.
  • Take a hike… or at least a walk! We know during the cold months, all you want to do after work (especially since it’s dark already) you want to eat warm, hardy food and flop on the couch. Make time to get in some sort of exercise in, like riding on a stationary bike for 30 minutes or walking in the morning! Exercise is so important for your health, you need to make time for it!
  • Happy eating! Make sure the sugar cookies and buttery rolls don’t get the best of you. Watch out for foods that are highly processed, full of sodium, or are high in fat. If you have to ask if it is healthy, it probably isn’t. Our rule of thumb? If it has a short shelf life, you want to be eating it. Fruits, veggies, low fat milk and eggs all will go bad sooner than Ramen Noodles or Hamburger Helper, and you know which ones you should be eating.
  • Try adding potassium into your diet, it can help reduce the effects of sodium on high blood pressure.

Check out LifeVest Health to keep track of your blood pressure and get healthy! If improving your health isn’t incentive enough, LifeVest pays you for improving it! Click here to learn more


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