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Blood Pressure: The Basics | RMHP Blog

Blood Pressure: The Basics | RMHP Blog



How to Keep Your Blood Pressure at a Healthy Level

The Western Slope is a great place to live for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially if you love the abundance of outdoor activities available in our backyard.

Spending time outside and exercising are both key parts of living a healthy lifestyle, but monitoring your blood pressure is also important. If you aren’t sure what the term “blood pressure” really means, then this article is for you. Keep reading to learn how you can keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

What is blood pressure?

As blood moves through your veins, it presses against the walls of your arteries (aka the vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body.)

Your blood pressure can rise and fall throughout the day, depending on how hard your heart is pumping. If you’re exercising, for example, your blood pressure will temporarily rise. Knowing the difference between healthy blood pressure and high blood pressure (also called hypertension) is essential to sustaining a healthy lifestyle.

Why does blood pressure matter?

When your blood pressure is too high for too long, it puts undue stress on your heart, forcing it to pump blood harder than it should. High blood pressure can increase your risk of stroke, damage your kidneys, and elevate your risk of heart disease.

Your heart is an essential organ, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to tell when your blood pressure is elevated. Fortunately, there are ways to monitor your blood pressure and keep it at a healthy level.

How can I control my blood pressure?

Since high blood pressure doesn’t usually have any visible symptoms, you likely won’t know you have it unless you receive an official diagnosis from your doctor.

To be proactive, consider purchasing a blood pressure cuff. Taking your own blood pressure is simple, and monitoring your blood pressure regularly can help prevent hypertension. The readings you get from a blood pressure cuff will be specific to your situation, making it easier to understand whether your blood pressure is normal, elevated, or high.

Another way you can control your blood pressure is to maintain a healthy lifestyle through:

  • Regular exercise
  • A healthy diet full of whole foods, like vegetables and lean protein
  • Reducing your stress
  • Watching how much sodium you ingest (which could mean using less salt on your food, for example)

Each of these pillars is a crucial part of health and wellness, but they’re especially vital when you’re dealing with high blood pressure. In some cases, medication may be necessary to help control hypertension, but your doctor will let you know if that’s something you need to consider upon receiving a high blood pressure diagnosis.