Although we’ve all had our blood pressure taken at some point, few people pay close attention to their blood pressure numbers until they’re told they have a high or low reading. The readings can seem complicated and easy to forget, but knowing your numbers might save your life. Blood pressure is an important component to overall health and living a healthy lifestyle and much of controlling your blood pressure is within your control right now. You just have to know what it is, what the numbers mean, and how to get control.
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is measured with two numbers, known as the systolic blood pressure (the top number of your blood pressure reading) and the diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of your blood pressure reading). Systolic blood pressure measures the pressure your blood puts upon the artery walls when your heart beats. The diastolic blood pressure measures the pressure of your blood when your heart rests between beats. Both numbers are crucial to determine your cardiovascular health.
What do the numbers mean?
The American Heart Association estimates that 33% of Americans over the age of twenty have high blood pressure. High blood pressure forces your heart and blood vessels to work harder, and less efficiently. The extra effort damages the arteries and allows cholesterol to build up within the already damaged arteries. With the buildup of plaque in the arteries, the arteries become narrower, leading to even higher blood pressure. The circular problem may lead to heart attacks, stroke, lost vision, or other serious and life threatening medical conditions.
It’s also possible to suffer from low blood pressure. Low blood pressure can be caused by dehydration, nutritional deficits, pregnancy, and certain medications. Symptoms of low blood pressure may include feeling lightheaded, dizzy, nauseous, fainting, excessive fatigue, or even depression.
Get control of your blood pressure numbers.
Because high blood pressure has no obvious symptoms, many people don’t know that they may be in danger. FitClub’s Healthy Heart Program is designed for members to know their numbers and access the resources and information they need to control their blood pressure. Located on the second floor of the FitClub South location, nurse Andrea Byrne is available to help you get started on the path to controlling your blood pressure. Andrea is available to take your blood pressure reading Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8AM to 1PM and walk you through the numbers. The program is completely voluntary and available at no extra cost to all FitClub members. FitClub’s Healthy Heart Program is one very important reason that FitClub is far more than just a gym.
When you know your numbers and understand your risk, you can start immediately with easy, natural and achievable steps to reduce your risk of living with high blood pressure. Stop in and see Andrea with our Healthy Heart Program to get your numbers this week, and next week be sure to check the blog for all the information you need to get started controlling your numbers.