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14 September 2015

High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and dementia. However, it’s very common for hypertension to show no symptoms at all, which is why it’s described as ‘the silent killer’.

The only way to know if your blood pressure is in the normal range is to get a blood pressure test and this week is the ideal time to start because the nation’s biggest blood pressure testing event, Know Your Numbers!, is running across the UK. The charity event offers everyone the chance to get a free check at Pressure Stations at GP surgeries, gyms, leisure centres, malls and hospitals. This check will record one measurement for when your blood pressure is at its highest (known as systolic pressure) and one measurement for when it’s at its lowest (diastolic pressure). Together these two figures create your blood pressure reading.

A young healthy adult should have a blood pressure of around 120/80. If your reading shows 140/90 or higher it is likely you have hypertension and need to make some changes to your diet and lifestyle to help lower this. Taking 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, losing weight, reducing alcohol intake and eating less saturated fat and salt can all help to naturally lower your blood pressure. It can also be useful to reduce your stress levels as too much worry and anxiety can lead to physical ailments like chest pain, an irregular heart beat and rise in blood pressure.

A supplement such as Co-Enzyme Q10, which curbs cholesterol and supports cardiovascular function, can help to reduce blood pressure and fight against the oxidation process. Omega 3 Fish Oils, found in mackerel and fresh tuna, and essential fatty acids, found in Flaxseed Oil, are also ideal for stabilising the body’s cholesterol levels and in turn lowering the blood pressure.

If your reading shows 90/60 or lower you have low blood pressure, or hypotension. Hypotension can result in dizziness and fainting, and although it can be a sign of an underlying health condition, it is more likely the result of being active and healthy. A low blood pressure reading may also be the result of other factors such as; the time of day it was checked, whether or not you have just eaten, the temperature at the time and even how relaxed the body was during the check.

The bottom line is that it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly so that you can detect any problems early on and make the relevant changes to your lifestyle. Why not visit a Pressure Station today and make sure you’re blood pressure is in the healthy range? It won’t cost you a penny but it might save your life.

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