We are all being encouraged to get our blood pressure checked as part of the Know your Numbers campaign which takes place across the region in September.
Know your numbers is the biggest free blood pressure testing event, being held across the UK from 9-15 September.
Why is it important to know your number?
Many people don’t know that their blood pressure is high. High blood pressure has no obvious symptoms but it is linked to strokes and heart attacks and increases the risk of kidney disease and dementia.
Where can I get my free blood pressure check?
Many pharmacies across Knowsley will provide information and advice on simple steps to keep blood pressure under control and will measure your blood pressure accurately. A blood pressure check is quick, free, painless and could save your life. You can also have a free blood pressure check in your GP surgery or use a home testing kit.
In addition, you can go along to a Volair leisure centre from 9-13 September to get your blood pressure taken on the following days and locations:
Monday 8-9am and 5.30-6.30pm Kirkby
Tuesday 8-9am and 5.30-6.30pm Huyton
Wednesday 8-9am and 5.30-6.30pm Halewood
Thursday 8-9am and 5.30-6.30pm Stockbridge Village
Friday 8-90am and 5.30-6.30pm Prescot
Many key risk factors for developing high blood pressure are largely lifestyle-related but you can take simple steps to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. These include:
Cutting down on salt – Reducing your salt intake is the quickest way to lower your blood pressure. Don’t add it when cooking or at the table, avoid using stock cubes, gravy and soy sauce, check food labels and avoid processed foods high in salt – aim to eat less than 6g a day.
Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least five different portions every day.
Watching your weight – try to reach the right weight for your height.
Exercising regularly – that doesn’t have to mean the gym, how about a regular lunchtime walk? 30 minutes five times a week is ideal. If you are unsure about taking up exercise, ask your GP.
Drinking alcohol only in moderation – up to 14 units a week for both men and women – a glass of wine or a pint of beer is 2-3 units.
You can lower your blood pressure and help to keep your heart happy with lifestyle changes and if necessary by taking medication as directed by your doctor.
Councillor Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “I’d encourage you to ensure that you ‘know your number’ by getting your blood pressure checked. High blood pressure is a largely preventable and treatable condition. Having your blood pressure checked is quick and easy and is an important step to knowing and reducing your risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure.”
Find out more
Further information about blood pressure, along with lifestyle, social and welfare services available locally that can support you, is available on the Happy Hearts website – www.happy-hearts.co.uk.