Blood pressure is used throughout the health and fitness world as an indicator of your health status. Blood pressure is essentially a measure of the amount of force that the heart uses to pump blood around the body’s circulatory system and is commonly expressed as the maximum arterial pressure in one contraction of the heart (Systolic), over the minimum arterial pressure of the heart relaxing and dilating (Diastolic).

As a general rule, blood pressure should ideally be 120/80mmHg (Millilitres of Mercury). High blood pressure is anything over 140/90mmHg, and low blood pressure is anything under 90/60mmHg. It is important to know these numbers as several health risks and complications are associated with having both high and low blood pressure.

For instance, high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, heart diseases and kidney disease, to name a few. Stress can cause high blood pressure alongside being overweight, smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise. Symptoms of really high blood pressure include severe headache, fatigue, chest pains, pounding in the chest, neck and/or ears and vision problems.

Dizzy spells and episodes of fainting can be a result of low blood pressure (also known as hypotension), which can lead to injury through falling and can lead to the body’s vital organs becoming oxygen-deprived. Dehydration, an endocrine disorder (such as diabetes), pregnancy, blood loss and some medication can be the cause of low blood. Symptoms of low blood pressure may include feeling lightheaded, feeling weak, feeling nauseated and having a difficult time concentrating.

It is essential to know the symptoms of these conditions as well as an understanding of the health complications they cause; it is equally important to have your blood pressure check regularly, which the members of the Fitness team can do for you during the Wellness Journey as part of your Starter and Review appointments. 

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