High blood pressure is called the silent killer because you can have it without knowing, and it can cause significant damage to your body.
It rarely has symptoms and the best way to determine if you do have it is to get your blood pressure tested.
How about learning a few more background basics?
According to the American Heart Association you're at greater risk for hypertension if:
*You lead an inactive lifestyle.
*You don't have a healthy diet and eat too many salty foods.
*You are overweight.
*You drink too much or smoke.
*The condition exists in your family.
*You are African-American
Everybody has blood pressure. It's how blood is pumped from your heart and through your arteries. It's measured using two numbers.The first one, systolic, is the pressure in your arteries when your heart pumps. The second, diastolic, indicates the pressure in your arteries when your heart is resting, between pumps.
If your blood pressure numbers are raised, it means blood is being pumped very hard through your arteries. Over time, this can damage your heart, brain and eyes, and lead to a stroke, aneurysm or heart attack.
To bring blood pressure into the healthy range:
*Limit your sodium and alcohol consumption.
*Focus your diet on fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, fish and lean meats. Stay away from prepared foods, which have a lot of sodium. Alternatively, read labels to find brands with less salt.
*Manage your stress in whatever way works best for you-whether that's yoga, meditation, a long run or a quiet bath.
*Stay active at the gym, in the park or around your neighborhood.