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 this month.
Know your numbers is the biggest free blood pressure testing event, being held across the UK from 9 to 15 September.
It is estimated that in Cheshire and Merseyside there are 260,000 people who have undiagnosed hypertension (high blood pressure) 8,120 of which are residents in Knowsley.
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 9 September||8am to 9am, also 5.30pm to 6.30pm||Kirkby|
|Tuesday 10 September||8am to 9am, also 5.30pm to 6.30pm||Huyton|
|Wednesday 11 September||8am to 9am||Halewood|
|Thursday 12 September||8am to 9am, also 5.30pm to 6.30pm||Stockbridge Village|
|Friday 13 September||8am to 9am||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. Have a look at the NHS BMI healthy weight calculator to help you decide.
Exercising regularly – that doesn’t have to mean the gym, how about a regular lunchtime walk? If you’re not very active at the moment, try to work towards 10 minutes or more 3 or 4 days a week and when you’re ready try to reach 30 minutes every day if you can, just keep active, it all adds up! 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.