Column: The importance of knowing your numbers
If I asked you how much you weigh or how tall you are you'd probably be able to tell me straight away without looking at the scales. But if I asked you what your blood pressure reading was '“ would you know?
Getting your blood pressure tested can give valuable information about your health and your risks and that’s why, during the third week of September, Blood Pressure UK runs their Know Your Numbers campaign to provide free blood pressure checks to adults in the UK.
The higher your blood pressure, the greater your risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure.
High blood pressure is also a major risk factor for kidney disease and dementia.
The higher your blood pressure, whatever your reading is, the higher yIour risk.
High blood pressure rarely has any symptoms and is a silent killer.
The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have it measured.
Getting your blood pressure tested is a non-invasive and painless procedure and it only takes two minutes.
High blood pressure affects over 1 in 3 people in the UK but it can be treated and prevented – often through simple lifestyle changes.
Reducing your salt intake, eating more fruit and vegetables and keeping to alcohol limits and avoiding binge drinking will lower your blood pressure whilst being more active and doing regular exercise keeps your heart and arteries in good condition.
Research shows that a 5mm reduction in blood pressure can reduce your risk of stroke by nearly 30% and heart attacks by 20%, so even the smallest lifestyle change can have a huge benefit on your health.
Go to Blood Pressure UK to find your nearest Pressure Station between 18 and 24 September.
The stations are located throughout communities at pharmacies, workplaces, GP surgeries, hospitals, shopping centres and supermarkets.
So, you’ll be able to access one close to your home or your workplace.