Heart Research UK Healthy Tip

Know you numbers. Change your numbers

Know your numbers week starts on the 9th September

Around 7 million people in the UK could have high blood pressure and not realise it.

If left untreated high blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack or stroke. The good news is, complications are often preventable through lifestyle changes and early diagnosis.

A simple test can be done at pharmacies, GP surgeries, health events and even some gyms. So take the important step and follow our simple healthy tips to help reduce blood pressure. 

Take stock

Ditching salt could be the best armour against high blood pressure, so swap that shaker for herbs and spices such as paprika, cajun or garlic. Don’t be fooled by names like ‘garlic salt’, ‘sea salt’ and ‘celery salt’, these are still salt. Easy ways to spot a high salt level in foods is by reading labels on food, so look out for traffic light labels and go for green or amber. 

Shape up

Being apple shaped can add a little pressure to your heart and arteries, even if you have a healthy BMI. It’s all about how you store and use the fats in your body. See how you measure up by taking a measuring tape midway between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips (just above your belly button).  If you’re a woman and your waist measures more than 80cm or you’re a man and your waist is above 94cm, slim down steadily and safely by eating better and moving more.

Go sober

Alcohol can play havoc with your numbers so it’s best to stick to the low risk guidelines of 14 units per week and not drink all this at once.  There are plenty of apps to help you keep track of your units, but the best way to reduce your risk is have a break from alcohol altogether. Mocktails are great idea for a refreshing change. 

Take the pressure off

When your body is in a highly stressed state it releases hormones that speed your heart rate up and constrict your blood vessels, sending oxygen to your muscles and can drive up your blood pressure. Finding time to relax is really important for your wellbeing. Whether it’s spending time doing a hobby you love or taking a walk in the fresh air, give yourself some me time.

Know your numbers and take stock of your heart health.  Spice things up, move more, have a mocktail and unwind your mind.

If you’d like to support Heart Research UK’s vital work into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease, please visit www.heartresearch.org.uk for inspiration on how you could help.

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