Blood pressure (BP) is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels. When used without further specification, “blood pressure” usually refers to the arterial pressure in the systemic circulation. It is usually measured at a person’s upper arm. Blood pressure is usually expressed in terms of the systolic (maximum) pressure over diastolic (minimum) pressure and is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It is one of the vital signs along with respiratory rate, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and body temperature. Normal resting blood pressure in an adult is approximately 120/80 mm Hg.
Blood pressure varies depending on situation, activity, and disease states. It is regulated by the nervous and endocrine systems. Blood pressure that is low due to a disease state is called hypotension, and pressure that is consistently high is hypertension. Both have many causes which can range from mild to severe. Both may be of sudden onset or of long duration. Long term hypertension is a risk factor for many diseases, including kidney failure, heart disease, and stroke. Long term hypertension is more common than long term hypotension in Western countries. Long term hypertension often goes undetected because of infrequent monitoring and the absence of symptoms.
High blood pressure can be fatal, so it’s important to know your blood pressure reading and what you can do to keep things under control. If this happens to you, try to do these 5 things
Regular exercise has been known to lower blood pressure in some people. It’s good for many other things including weight management, lowering cholesterol, and reducing stress. Make an exercise schedule for yourself and spend at least 30 minutes a day 5 times a week by running, walking, cycling, or doing Pilates. There are also special yoga classes which help lower blood pressure.