High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects more than one in four adults in the UK.
Because symptoms are rarely noticeable, the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked using equipment.
It can often be prevented or reduced by eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight and taking regular exercise.
But different kinds of exercise can have different effects on the body, and there are certain activities you should avoid if you have high blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, you should try to focus on activities that will help your heart and blood vessels, according to Blood Pressure UK.
The charity lists activities that are not good for your blood pressure:
- Weight lifting
- Scuba diving – you will need a certificate from your doctor
But there are a host of activities considered good for your blood pressure:
- Brisk walking
- Mowing the lawn
Blood Pressure UK states: “If you have high blood pressure, you should try to focus on activities that will help your heart and blood vessels. Aerobic activity is the type that helps your heart the most.
“Aerobic activities are repetitive and rhythmic movements (exercises), and they use the large muscle group of your body, such as those in your legs, shoulders and arms. Walking jogging, swimming, dancing and digging are all aerobic activities.
“Other forms of activity are less helpful. For example, you should not do any exercise that is very intensive for short periods of time, such as sprinting or weightlifting. These kinds of activities will quickly raise your blood pressure, and put unwanted strain on your heart and blood vessels.”
Using a blood pressure cuff, blood pressure is recorded with two numbers – the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure.
The systolic pressure is the higher number and represents the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body, whereas the diastolic pressure is the lower number and shows the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.
If high blood pressure goes undetected, it can quietly damage your body for years.
Left uncontrolled, you may end up with a disability, a poor quality of life or even a fatal heart attacks.
There are four ways undetected high blood pressure can damage your body, according to Mayo Clinic.