Skip to the content

Blood Pressure: Do you know your numbers?

Do you know your numbers? | Blood pressure | Private Medical Insurance

To mark Know Your Numbers Week, we’re putting a focus on blood pressure and the importance of being familiar with your readings.

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the measurement of the force that your heart uses to circulate blood around the body.

Your body will need a certain amount of force, so it’s important to ensure your blood pressure is at the right level.

How is Blood Pressure Measured?

Blood pressure is a fundamental indicator of cardiovascular health. The measurements are typically expressed as two numbers: systolic pressure, which signifies the pressure when your heart pushes blood out; and diastolic pressure, which is the pressure when your heart rests between beats.

As a general guide, the NHS suggests an ideal blood pressure to be considered between 90/60mmHG and 120/80mmHG.

Blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day, increasing when you’re active and decreasing when you’re resting.

High Blood Pressure

Having a high blood pressure, considered to be 140/90mmHG or higher, can significantly increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The cause of high blood pressure isn’t always identified, however factors such as dietary habits, lifestyle choices, and underlying medical conditions can often contribute. Some examples include drinking too much alcohol, smoking, being overweight and having too much salt in your diet.

Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure is less common than high blood pressure and normally is a side effect of an underlying medical condition. You should get your blood pressure checked if you have any of the symptoms including dizziness, fainting, feeling weak and blurred vision.

How to Check Your Blood Pressure

Checking your blood pressure is easy. You can either ask your pharmacist or GP to do it, or you can even check it yourself at home using a home blood pressure monitor.

Strategies to Lower Blood Pressure

Maintaining healthy blood pressure levels is crucial for overall cardiovascular health. Here are ten tips to help you keep your blood pressure in check:

1. Eat a heart-healthy diet:

Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products; also reduce salt intake, as excessive sodium can lead to high blood pressure. Aim for less than 2,300 milligrams per day.

2. Exercise Regularly

Engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise per week. Try to incorporate strength training into this, at least two days a week.

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight through a combination of a balanced diet and regular exercise.

4. Limit Alcohol Intake

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Staying within the recommended levels is the best way to manage this – men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units per week on a regular basis. The NHS has a number of useful tips to help you cut down here.

5. Quit Smoking

Smoking raises blood pressure and can increase the risk of heart disease. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your cardiovascular health.

6. Manage Stress

Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Practice stress-reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or hobbies you enjoy.

7. Limit Caffeine Intake

Excessive caffeine consumption can temporarily raise blood pressure. Monitor your caffeine intake and consider switching to decaffeinated options if needed.

8. Get Adequate Sleep

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Poor sleep can lead to increased blood pressure and other health issues.

9. Monitor Your Blood Pressure

Regularly check your blood pressure; either with your GP or pharmacist, or at home using a reliable monitor. This helps you track your progress and detect any changes early.

10. Follow Your Doctor's Advice

If you have hypertension (high blood pressure), work closely with your healthcare provider to develop a personalised treatment plan. This may include medication, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both.

Remember that maintaining healthy blood pressure is a lifelong commitment, and it's essential to make these changes part of your daily routine. Additionally, consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice and guidance tailored to your specific health needs.

Pre-existing Conditions

We can offer you cover for up to two pre-existing conditions with our Private Health Insurance. Get a free, no-obligation quote today and find out how little health insurance could cost you!

This content is subject to our Disclaimer.

What's next?

Our Private Health Insurance has been designed to suit all needs and budgets, take a look to see what covers we have available. You can also enhance your private healthcare cover to include certain pre-existing conditions, include in-patient mental health treatment and more.

Get a quote Find out more

Contact us

To find out more about how we can help you then give us a call and a member of our friendly team will be on hand to help out.

Request a callback