High blood pressure: How to tell if you’re a ‘healthy weight’ to avoid hypertension
High blood pressure is extremely common, but not everyone knows when they’re at risk. It rarely causes any noticeable symptoms, which means you may be living with hypertension without even knowing it.
About a third of all adults in the UK have high blood pressure, according to the NHS.
It’s essential that your hypertension is diagnosed early, because the condition raises the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
Having high blood pressure puts extra stress on the blood vessels, and subsequently your vital organs.
But maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to avoid high blood pressure.
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“Being a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do for your blood pressure,” it said.
“Losing weight doesn’t need to feel like a struggle, even losing a small amount, 5 or 10% of your body weight, can make a big difference, and there’s lots of simple changes you can make to get started.
“It lowers your risk of many other health problems, including stroke, diabetes and heart disease, and can make you feel better too, giving you more energy to do the things you want to.
“Your doctor or nurse will be able to talk to you about whether you’re a healthy weight or not and give you ideas to get it under control.”
Meanwhile, your waist circumference is much more straightforward.
Use a tape measure to measure the narrowest part of your waist, slightly above your belly button.
A measurement over 37 inches in men, or 31.5 inches in women, is linked to a higher risk of health problems.
But, neither of these are entirely accurate, and you should still speak to a doctor if you’re concerned about your weight.
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