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Blood pressure

What is blood pressure?

Lots of people like to draw hearts in the sand, carve them into trees or use them in love letters. And this with good reason: It's the symbol of love. Emotional outbreaks make our hearts beat faster, the pulse rises and we know we are in love. But it's not just the nice feelings that change blood pressure or frequency of our heartbeat. Stress, fear, fatigue aswell als movement and exertion can have influence.

The heart is a muscle which makes the blood flow equally through our bodies by relaxing and contracting. Because of this movement the pressure rises and sinks- the pulse. This frequency (measured in bpm "beats per minute") mirrors our emotional situation,  our constitution and workload. The pulse is always a snapshot.

 

Expressive capability of a measurement

With a singular reading, you can just measure the heartbeat in this exact moment. Only the comparison with older readings makes it meaningful. An example: You will have a higher pulse when you just came home and had to climb a lot of steps. The movement had your body pump more blood through the veins to  provide every part of the body with enough oxygen. If you were to measure now, you would get a higher reading than you would in ten minutes.

 

Blood pressure reading

Electronic blood pressure gauges make the measurements with the so-called "oscillometric technique". This method has gained high recognition worldwide for more than 30 years and is used everyday when patients need very accurate measurements. With this method, the pressure is read by analysing the fluctuationof pressure while deflating the cuff. This technique needs neither microphone nor stethoscope.

 

First measurement

First, you should determine your measuring arm. For this, you should sit down and make a measurement on both arms. The cuff should always be on about the same height as your heart. It doesn't matter here if it's a gauge for the upper or the lower arm. When both measurements are done, determine the arm with the higher measurements and use that one for future measurements. Keep in mind that blood pressure, like the pulse, is a dynamic value. That means, the readings depend strongly on what you eat, activity, mood and sicknesses (especially vascular diseases). It also fluctuates over the day, that means, it is advised to make measurements at the same time everyday. Ideal is a time after waking up or in the early evening. Make time to relax before every reading, so the stress and labour of the day don't corrupt the reading. Its also better to refrain from talking and to lean back. This way the readings are most accurate.

 

Oscillometric blood pressure reading

Vibrations play a big role in blood pressure reading. This doesn't mean the heartbeat itself, which you can feel and even see sometimes. More than that, those vessels itself are constricted because of the cuff. When the vessel is completely closed up, the air is let out of the cuff - the reading begins. As soon as the heartbeat has enough pressure to send blood through the veins, small vibrations arise from the bloodflow on the outside of the vessels. These are recorded and analysed. They give information about the pressure with which the blood is sent through the body. Because of this, it is most important for you to sit down calmy and to refrain from speaking. If not, there can be wrong readings.

 

Deviant measurements

The blood pressure of a human changes over the course of a day. It also strongly depends on the constitution, mood and manual labour. Changes of 30mmHg in a short time can be because of physical activity (sports, mental labour, stress, stomach, etc.). Because of this, it is important to measure the blood pressure everyday under similar conditions, for example one hour after supper every day.

 

Systole and Diastole

How strong the heart works is made up of two values: systolic and diastolic pressure. The first is, when the heart contracts, the second, when the heart pulls the blood back through the veins. This gives a concrete overview of heart activity, which is ideal for daily control.

 

Influence on blood pressure

The blood circulation is influenced by many aspects. Our physical appearance as much as our mood. When the BMI is over the norm, you do sports on a hot summer's day and don't pause for a while, it's easy to overdo it for the heart. For this reason, doctors advise for balanced nutrition and to avoid foods rich in fat.
Don't do this and you will be part of the so-called risk- groups. Risks are here obesity, high blood pressure, stressful days and psychological burdens. A surprising example shows that blood pressure reading is not only interesting for old people: Students have regular moments of stress in test phases, in which their blood pressure and pulse rises.

 

Which sport is best with high blood pressure?

With regular high blood pressure the little end-branches of the arteries are limited which heightens the resistance in the circulation. Enhancing (training) your muscels results in widening of the arteries, because working muscles need more oxygen. Regular endurance training of about 30 mins works well against high blood pressure, like: running, jogging, skiing, swimming and dancing. The big muscel groups contract rythmically because of these activities. The pulsrate gets faster and the blood pressure heightens, but not to abruptly. Activities with non regular movement are not suitable. Make sure that you move enough. Try to do more everyday.

 

 

Please make sure that the informations given by us are just general tips. Your individual health care consultation can and should be only be given by a doctor.

 

 

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