Keeping Your Blood Pumping

June 22nd, 2010

Everyone knows that to be healthy, you must have good blood pressure. How can we achieve this?

First of all, your blood pressure is the amount of force that blood exerts on the walls of the blood vessels as is passes through them. There are two numbers that they tell you when you are having your blood pressure measured.

How is your diastolic pressure measured? Usually doctors or nurses will measure it with a device called a sphygmomanometer which can read your blood pressure.

The first number is known as the systolic blood pressure. This is the pressure that is measured while the heart is beating.

The second number (the one on the bottom) is known as the diastolic blood pressure. This is the pressure that is measured while the heart is relaxed in between heartbeats.

When the diastolic pressure is reading below 60, then it is considered too low. When the diastolic pressure reads about 90, it is considered high.

Your diastolic pressure changes frequently throughout the day. So what causes these changes?

Diastolic pressure is affected by the way you sit, stand, walk, and exercise. It can also be affected by the amount of tension you have in your body and if you use any nicotine.

Overall, your blood pressure is determined by your health, lifestyle, and diet. The only thing that you do not have control over is your family history.

But you do have plenty of control over everything else. Exercise that freedom to help lower both your diastolic and systolic blood pressure.

Why is your diastolic pressure so important to keep at a normal level? Because your diastolic blood pressure is created to send it to all other parts of your body.

When blood vessels travel away from the heart, they break off into several smaller branches. Some of these branches may go to the brain, while others may go to your kidneys.

Diastolic pressure keeps the blood flowing through all of these branches to help your body’s cells get all the oxygen and nutrients that they need. It also helps the waste matter that is in your body to be removed.

Since your blood pressure changes so many times each day, to get an accurate reading you need to measure it a few different times of day and come up with an average number.  This will give you a good idea of what your blood pressure is really like.

When you have low diastolic pressure (reading of 60 or lower), then it is known as hypotension. That means that your blood is not able to bring enough oxygen and nutrients to all the body cells.

When you have high diastolic pressure, it is known as hypertension and the pressure reads as more than 90. High blood pressure causes the small blood vessels to become scarred, hardened, and less flexible or elastic over time.

This means that they are more susceptible to getting blocked or ruptured. This can lead to major organ damage and/or failure.

You increase your chances of getting a heart attack or stroke if your blood pressure continues to remain too high for a long period of time. As you get older, your vessels may deteriorate a little bit on their own even if you do not have high blood pressure.

The last thing you want to do is speed up that process. Do not make your health problems worse than they need to be.

So if you can keep it in between 65 and 85, then you are in pretty good shape. What are some high blood pressure symptoms that you recognize?

Some things you might experience if you have hypertension are: headache, lightheadedness, and nausea. If your blood pressure becomes this severe, then you will require emergency hospitalization to prevent any brain bleeding or a possible stroke.

What can you do to lower these numbers? Look at your lifestyle first and see what kind of changes you can make.

Do you need to lose some weight and start exercising? What if you followed a diet plan that reduced fats, cholesterol, salt and alcohol?

If you follow these simple guidelines, you will become a healthier you. And you will prolong your life.

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