High blood pressure, low blood pressure, what are you saying, doctors? What is blood pressure and why should we care?
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure that your blood exerts on the blood vessels. I know…. that’s a bit redundant.
Let me explain blood pressure a bit more, so you can visualize this. From what we’ve learned in school, the molecules in fluids interact closely with one another, meaning that they will not fill the entirety of a container unless you’ve placed enough of that fluid into the container to fill it completely. Each molecule exerts its own amount of force on each other and on the portion of the surface of the container that it interacts with.
Pressure is defined as a force exerted on a particular area. So the amount of force that the molecules exert on a particular portion of a container’s surface is equivalent to the pressure exerted by the molecule onto the container.
Now, if you replace the fluid with blood serum,the molecules with blood cells and the container with blood vessels, you’ll have the same situation; the blood cells each exert its own amount of force on portions of the blood vessel, which is the blood pressure.
Blood pressure naturally increases when your heart contracts to push blood into the blood vessels, and decreases when your heart relaxes.
Why is blood pressure important?
Blood pressure determines how hard your heart has to work to continuously feed your circulatory system with blood. The harder your heart works, the more strain there is in your circulatory system. This can lead to higher risk for health problems.
It’s also important to note that there are a variety of factors that affect blood pressure including how active you are, how much rest you get, your body temperature, diet, posture, medications and even your emotional state. So it’s important to try and stay healthy and active, for your heart and your health!