What is it?

Blood pressure is the measure of how much pressure the blood is exerting on the artery walls in a persons body. A certain amount of pressure is required to keep the blood pumping around your body. Blood pressure is given as two numbers, something like 120/80 (read as 120 over 80).

The first number (120 in this case) is called the systolic blood pressure, this is the highest level of pressure in the arteries when the heart is contracting, or squeezing blood out of the heart) and forcing it through the arteries.

The second number (80 in this case) is call the diastolic blood pressure, this is the lowest level of pressure in the arteries when you heart is relaxing in between each heart beat.

Why does it matter?

If a persons blood pressure goes too high or too low, it can cause health problems. Having high blood pressure increases the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. If can also lead to kidney and sight problems. Having very low blood pressure can cause dizziness and fainting, generally speaking high blood pressure is more common than low blood pressure.

What is high blood pressure?

Generally when the systolic number (the top number) is above 140, this is considered high blood pressure. Over time, the larger arteries within the body can lose their elasticity and the smaller blood vessels can become narrower.

How can a person naturally reduce the likelihood of having high blood pressure?

  • Doing regular physical exercise
  • Ensuring that you are not overweight
  • Not having too much salt in your diet
  • Not drinking too much alcohol
  • Eating a balanced and healthy diet
  • Reducing your stress levels
  • Reducing caffeine intake