This month, we have been discussing blood pressure and knowing your numbers. High blood pressure can cause a stroke or heart attack, and as there are no symptoms, it is important to have your blood pressure checked.
Each year, ‘Know Your Number Weeks’ campaigns to raise awareness of the effects of high blood pressure. In normal circumstances, the campaign would have seen ‘Pressure Stations’ set up in local communities to help more people know their blood pressure number, however, due to social distancing guidelines, the stations won’t be open this year.
High blood pressure can be caused by lifestyle choices, including high salt intake, being overweight, not being active, smoking and drinking.
Here are some tips on having a healthy blood pressure if you have high blood pressure or just want to keep your numbers at a stable level:
- Cut down on your alcohol intake. Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure over time, so keep an eye on the number of units you consume.
- Keep to a healthy weight based on your BMI. Even a small amount of body weight can make a difference to your blood pressure
- Make sure you are regularly active and exercising. If you have very high blood pressure, make sure you have a conversation with your GP or nurse about what type of new exercises are safe for you. Good activities include brisk walking, swimming, dancing, cycling and tennis.
- Stop smoking – smoking damages the walls of the blood vessels making the arteries narrow and, ultimately, making your heart work harder to pump blood around the body.
- Cut down on your salt intake and make sure you have your 5 a day. Foods that support healthy blood pressure include fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, wholegrain food, eggs, lean meats and oily fish.
- In some cases, your GP may prescribe you with medication to help lower your blood pressure. Keep on track with any medication you take, noting down any side-affects you may experience and have regular contact with your GP to ensure the medication is right for you.
- A home monitor can help you test your blood pressure at home. This year’s ‘Know Your Numbers Week’ campaign is focused on staying in control of your blood pressure and checking your numbers at home. This eases the pressure on the NHS and pharmacists who would usually test blood pressure for patients.
At Heritage Healthcare, we support our clients within their own home to encourage independence and comfort. Our highly-trained care team provide support with personal care, companionship, household help and complex needs, taking the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.