What is Blood Pressure?
Blood Pressure is the force exerted by the blood on the walls of the blood vessels. The job of a heart is to pump the blood around the body, first to the lungs to collect oxygen and then the blood returns to the heart to be pumped around the body.
The vessels, which carry the blood away from the heart, are generally called arteries. The vessels, which return the blood to the heart, are called vines.
Blood pressure is higher in the arteries because the heart has to pump healthfully in order to circulate this oxygen rich blood around the whole body.
The blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). Blood Pressure reading has two numbers for example 120/80. The first number refers to the systolic pressure – this is the peak pressure in the arteries when the heart first begins the contracting phase of the heart pumping (in this case 120). The second phase is called of the diastolic pressure – this is the minimum pressure, which occurs near the end of the relaxing fines (in this case 80).
A normal blood pressure is <120/<80, Pre-hypertension is 120-139/80-89, Stage 1 hypertension is 140-159/90-99 and Stage 2 hypertension is ≥=100/≥=100
Blood Pressure and lifestyle.
Blood Pressure can vary particularly in response to various lifestyle factors like stress, fitness levels, nutrition and the health of your arteries.
Poor nutrition, smoking and lack of physical activity can lead to unhealthy arteries, making it harder for the blood to be pumped around the body. This in turn increases the pressure on the walls of the arteries as the blood tries to squeeze through reduced space due to the arteries having a build up of plaque in the insides artery walls. Regular physical activity can play a very important part in helping your heart work more efficiently.
Simple aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, cycling and dancing with some strength resistance training are some great examples that will improve this common condition. Making some better lifestyle choices is also a must and speaking to a nutritionist to improve your diet will also help.
Try doing 30 minutes of aerobic exercises on most days of the week plus some strength exercises twice a week hitting the larger muscles like legs, chest, shoulder and back but avoid pressing your hands above your head. If you can work with a fitness professional to make sure you’re training at a safe and effective level to improve your blood pressure.