Test Your Health: What’s Your Blood Pressure I.Q.?
High blood pressure, or hypertension as it is also known, affects millions of Americans. It’s important for everyone to know what it is, how it can impact their health, and how to prevent or treat it. The following quiz can help.
True or False…
(click here for answers)
- Blood pressure is the measure of how many times a minute your heart beats.
- “The more narrow my arteries become, the lower my blood pressure will be.”
- “Once my blood pressure is controlled by medication, I can stop taking my medicine.”
- In most cases, people with high blood pressure are placed on a salt-restricted diet.
- “My blood pressure stays the same, whether I’m exercising or at rest.”
- “My blood pressure is measured as systolic over diastolic.”
- High blood pressure is not a risk for coronary artery disease.
- “When I’m stressed or angry, my blood pressure can go up.”
- In many cases, high blood pressure can be prevented with proper diet and exercise.
- “After a vigorous workout, I should stop and rest.”
- The heart is a muscle.
- False. Blood pressure is the measure of force needed to push blood through the arteries.
- False. The narrower the arteries, the more force needed to push the blood through, therefore the higher the resistance or blood pressure.
- False. The medication alters certain factors in the body to allow the pressure to stay low. Without aid of medication, the pre-existing conditions of the body will make the pressure high again.
- True. Sodium, which is found in salt, causes the body to retain water, which increases the blood volume. This requires greater effort to push blood through the arteries.
- False. During exercise, the heart beats faster as it pumps blood into the arteries with greater force. Since the arteries can only stretch so far, they resist the force of the heart beat, thus increasing the blood pressure. It’s important to note, however, that exercise lowers your blood pressure when you’re at rest, and has numerous other benefits.
- True. Systolic is the heart’s contraction as it forces blood out to the arteries. Diastolic is the relaxation and filling of the heart’s chambers with blood.
- False. The wear and tear on your arteries as blood is being forced through causes a breakdown of the inner lining of the arteries. The lower your blood pressure, the less stress on your arteries. Plaque and fat deposits get caught on these areas of “wear and tear,” causing narrowing of the artery, and eventually, if not treated, the artery closes off.
- True. Adrenaline is released in the blood stream causing the heart to beat faster.
- True. Proper diet includes low sodium and low fat intakes. Exercise decreases blood pressure by strengthening the heart muscle, which helps it pump out a greater amount of blood with less effort.
- False. Cool down is very important after exercise. It helps the heart return to a resting state, allows blood that has gone to the arms and lets to return to the core of the body, and allows blood pressure to return to normal. Adrenaline and other associated compounds are released during exercise. If exercise is stopped abruptly, these compounds could bombard the heart and cause irregularities in its rhythm.
- True. The heart is a muscle which becomes stronger with exercise, as do your body’s other muscles
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