What you should know about blood pressure… and one thing you wish you didn’t.

Many of us just know that high blood pressure is bad, bad, bad!

But what is it? In a nut shell, blood pressure is the force blood is pumping through your arteries. There are two numbers in your BP reading, the top one telling you the force when your blood is pumping through your heart, and the bottom when your heart is resting. Think about the way your heart beats: it pumps blood into your heart, then out. Bu-bump, bu-bump, bu-bump. So your blood pressure is measuring the pressure of blood pushing through your heart during each of these ‘bu-bump’ actions! If your heart has to work harder to pump blood through, say, due to clogging arteries, your blood pressure is higher and puts you at risk for things such as heart disease, or a heart attack. Give your heart a rest by eating well and exercising often so your heart doesn’t have to work in overtime.

What else should you know? Here are a few fun facts:

– Blood pressure is highest in the morning, just after waking up.

-Blood pressure is lowest when you are sleeping.

-Your blood pressure is constantly changing! Eating, resting, walking…all these things change your BP.

-If you could ‘see’ blood pressure it would look like this: If your BP reading was 120 mmHg, that means you could push a column of Mercury 120 mm into the air. That’s a weird thought! Thank goodness our hearts are in our bodies.

Best way to a healthy Blood Pressure:

-Exercise often!! Make sure you are getting your cardio in at they gym. It could be as simple as getting on the bike for 15 minutes to warm up.

-Eat healthy. Many fruits and vegetables are heart healthy and aren’t just good for you, but they benefit your heart! Pomegranates, tomatoes, blueberries and spinach are all good things to have in your diet for heart health.

-Chill out! Stress can worsen your blood pressure. Take some time to yourself to relax and calm down so your stress levels and blood pressure don’t sky rocket. Deep breathing and meditation are two ways to calm yourself.

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