You are at risk of developing heart disease, strokes and kidney disease if you don’t look after your body. High blood pressure is a silent killer and we are all at risk. Some of the key factors include our nutrition, volume of regular exercise and our overall lifestyle.

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure – a measure of the force that the heart uses to pump blood around the body.

Blood pressure is measured using millimeters of mercury that is shown on your blood pressure monitor in the form of “mmHg”. Blood pressure is read using two figures:

  • Systolic pressure – the pressure when your heart pushes blood out
  • Diastolic pressure – the pressure when your heart rests between beats

High blood pressure

  • Known in the medical world as hypertension.
  • High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher.
  • High blood pressure can increases the risk of developing heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, aortic aneurysm, kidney disease and vascular dementia.
  • High blood pressure is the result of a unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking, too much drinking, being over weight and not exercising.

How to reduce high blood pressure

  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Reduce caffeine consumption
  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce salt consumption
  • Exercise more

 Low blood pressure

  • Known in the medical world as hypotension.
  • Low blood pressure is a reading of 90/60mmHg or less.
  • Low blood pressure is less common but can too be dangerous by increasing the risk of heart failure and dehydration.

Normal blood pressure

  • Ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.


The YMCA provides ongoing support via exercise programmes, nutritional guidelines and exercise technique support. All of this can help you control you blood pressure and prevent future issues.

If you have any concerns regarding your blood pressure, or you fall into the category of low or high blood pressure please speak with a moment of our fitness team or consult with your GP.

If you would like your blood pressure taken please ask a member of our fitness team.