The vast majority of us will be told in the course of a routine medical check-up we have blood pressure issues. As we head along life’s path our blood pressure tends to rise, increasing various risks; our cardiovascular system is rather like a heat pump or a swimming pool filtration system. A low pressure input on one side of the pump and a high pressure on the outlet side of the pump. The low pressure side of our cardiovascular system is a matrix of veins leading to our heart and on the outlet side of our heart are a series of arteries; pressure increases and the heart responds by pumping harder when the cardiovascular systems veins and arteries contract, develop blockages, restrictions or lose their elasticity over time.
High blood pressure or hypertension may cause aneurisms in blood vessels; rather like a tyre blowout on a bicycle where the tube bulges through weak tyres and then bursts. In the case of our cardiovascular system resulting in internal bleeding, strokes and heart attacks, vision and kidney disease are also linked to high blood pressure.
There is much we can do to maintain healthy blood pressure; a diet that includes lots of fruit, vegetables especially leafy green vegetables that include plenty of dietary fibre, fish, lean meat, low salt, minimal trans fats, sensible alcohol consumption (an average of two standard drinks per day), less is more, a break from alcohol a few days each week will help, smoking has been identified as a major cause of poor cardiovascular health, stress has been identified as a major health risk; including cardiovascular health, mental health and physical wellbeing.
Recently more evidence from studies have established definite links between a sedentary lifestyle including workplace occupations that involve prolonged periods seated with minimal physical activity; resulting in elevated risks of strokes, heart attacks and cancers, in fact double digit percentage risk factor increase.