Do YOU know your numbers? Read all about this amazing awareness week and get checked out as soon as you can.  It could quite literally change your life. Or even save it.

Do YOU know your numbers?  Your blood pressure numbers, of course.

From 9th-15th September, the charity Blood Pressure UK is launching its annual “Know your Numbers!” campaign.  Established in 2001, this flagship awareness programme has led to 1.5 million people getting their blood pressure checked, potentially saving many thousands of lives in the process.

What is the Know Your Numbers! Week?

The Know Your Numbers! Week is about hundreds of organisations throughout the UK offering FREE blood pressure tests at health clubs, leisure centres, pharmacies, workplaces, GP surgeries, hospitals – even supermarkets and shopping centres.  They’re calling these pop-up centres Pressure Stations.

Now, you can get your readings with your runner beans, your numbers with your nectarines…ok, we’ll stop there.

Where To Go

You can find your local pressure station

here…http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/kyn/Home/Freebpchecks/Findfreecheck

You’ll get an immediate blood pressure reading and, as forewarned is forearmed, take action  if the numbers are too high.  Even a few small changes could make all the difference. This year’s campaign focuses on knowing your numbers to live a long and happy life.  We can’t argue with that one.

Just a few seconds’ discomfort when that band tightens about your upper arm could even save your life.

In the 21st century, we’re all living longer.  The key to a healthy life is to stay as fit as we can for as long as we can.  With so many more years to look forward to, why not make sure that they’re healthy ones?

Why Do We Need A Blood Pressure Awareness Week?

Did you know that around a third of the people in the UK have high blood pressure, but most don’t know it?  Elevated blood pressure, also known as hypertension has no symptoms.  A bit of a human design flaw, perhaps, but the only way to know for sure is to get checked.

Scary fact alert.  High blood pressure is the biggest known cause of premature death and disability in the UK.  It can result in strokes, heart attacks and heart disease.  Regrettably, it’s also a known risk factor in dementia and kidney disease.  It’s literally a silent killer.

If you have high blood pressure you are 3 times more likely to develop heart disease and stroke and twice as likely to die from these as people with normal blood pressure.

125,000 adults in the UK have a heart attack every year in which high blood pressure is a key factor.  And, you’re more at risk if you’re over 55, of African Caribbean descent or of South Asian origin.

OK, so we said it was scary, and it is.  However, these conditions and illnesses are mostly preventable.  Yes, you can almost certainly stop them happening.

The Know Your Numbers! Week has been an immeasurably valuable asset in encouraging us all to lead a healthier lifestyles.  And, the good news is that high blood pressure can also be treated with medication.

An Easy Guide to Your Blood Pressure

In brief, you’re looking for low (but not too low readings), with the ideal reading of 120/80.

The upper measurement is called the systolic pressure, when your heart pushes blood around your body.

The lower number is the diastolic, when your heart relaxes.

Your numbers show how hard your blood is pushing against the sides of your blood vessels as it travels around your body.  As sounds obvious, you don’t want anything working too hard inside your body.  It will simply get, well, tired.

Simple Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure

  • Give up smoking. Such an obvious one, we hardly need say it!

  • Move more. Just 30 minutes walking a day could see a big difference.

  • Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.

  • Cut down on salt and processed foods. You may be surprised just how much salt there is in ready meals, for example.

  • Reduce those glasses of wine in the evening. It may help you to relax, but could be damaging your body.

  • Lose weight if you need to. If you’re those extra pounds, your heart has to work harder.  It’s as simple as that.

Caring for Others…And Yourself

Here at Carers’ Support, we’re aware of an added health-related dimension in our readership.  Stress.

Your caring role isn’t easy.  Whether you care for people via an agency, or spend your days (and nights) focused on someone else’s physical and emotional needs, it can be a demanding role.  In other words, stressful.

Very stressful.

And, stress can be a killer. There’s no getting around that.

Getting your blood pressure checked regularly should be a part of your self-care routine.  Why not book an appointment today?  Remember, in order to care, you have to look after yourself first.