Frequently asked questions on Zumba Fitness, Active Lifestyle Coaching, Diet Counselling

High Blood Pressure

What is high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery walls as it circulates through your body. Blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day, but it can cause health problems if it stays high for a long. High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because many people don’t realize they have it. High blood pressure often has no warning signs or symptoms.

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What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer” because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure. That’s why it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.

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What can you do to reduce your risk?

There are several things that you can do to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range—
  • Get your blood pressure checked regularly.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Be physically active.
  • Limit alcohol use.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Prevent or treat diabetes.

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Do you have any guidelines on the correct way to measure blood pressure?

The patient should be seated for at least 5 minutes, relaxed and not moving or speaking
• The arm must be supported at the level of the heart. Ensure no tight clothing constricts the arm
• Place the cuff on neatly with the centre of the bladder over the brachial artery. The bladder should encircle at least 80% of the arm (but not more than 100%
• Some monitors allow manual blood pressure setting selection where you choose the appropriate setting. Other monitors will automatically inflate and re-inflate to the next setting if required.
• Repeat three times and record measurement as displayed. Initially test blood pressure in both arms and use arm with highest reading for subsequent measurement.

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How do I know which cuff size to use?

The bladder of the cuff should fit around at least 80% of the arm but not more than 100%.  A cuff that does not fit properly will not give an accurate reading so it is important to use the right size.

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How many readings do I have to take when measuring blood pressure and how do I record them. Which one do I use?

Two measurements should be taken (1-2 minutes apart), the initial value being discarded if there is a large (>10mmHg) difference between the first and subsequent readings and further measurements made.

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When measuring blood pressure, should the tubes of the cuff bladder be pointing up or down?

If you are using a manual blood pressure monitor, it is sensible to position the tubes to the top of the cuff so that they don’t interfere with the stethoscope.  If you are using an automatic device then it doesn’t matter which way up you use the cuff.  Some cuffs are conically shaped i.e. larger at the top than the bottom to fit the shape of the upper arm.  In this case there is only one way to fit with tubes downwards.

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Do you have any guidelines on the correct way to measure blood pressure?

Stage 1 hypertension Clinic blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or higher
and subsequent ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) daytime
average or home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) average blood
pressure is 135/85 mmHg or higher.
Stage 2 hypertension Clinic blood pressure is 160/100 mmHg or higher
and subsequent ABPM daytime average or HBPM average blood pressure
is 150/95 mmHg or higher.
Severe hypertension Clinic systolic blood pressure is 180 mmHg or higher
or clinic diastolic blood pressure is 110 mmHg or higher.

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