October 04, 2005 09:11 ET

Don't Spend Christmas Under Pressure

LONDON, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 4, 2005) - With just over two months to go, everyone is psyching themselves up for the festive season - a time notorious for stress! With 62,000 preventable deaths occurring every year due to high blood pressure*, simply following a healthier lifestyle and keeping stress to a minimum could help prevent blood pressure reaching dangerous levels. It's important to be aware of your blood pressure because, along with the presents, parties and puddings at this time of year come health warnings for us all.

Along with monitoring blood pressure regularly, thanks to Braun, makers of home blood pressure monitors, there are a number of handy tips you can follow to reduce the effects of stress. So try following some of these tips:

Keep track of your blood pressure with the new Braun SensorControl EasyClick Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor to manage your health. The Braun monitor allows you to record the pattern of your blood pressure readings and if you are concerned, or already suffer from high blood pressure, you can take the memory readings to your GP.

Share out Christmas chores with your partner, in an independent survey 1 in 4 British males believed shopping caused their blood pressure levels to soar to a dangerous level**. Why not leave him at home to put up the decorations whilst you do what women are best at - shop!

With almost 1 in 2 Britons blaming commuting for soaring blood pressure levels**, make the most of flexi-time offered by employers over the festive period to avoid the stress of commuting in rush hour, or better still work from home when the cold weather hits and public transport has the tendency to cease up.

Don't over-indulge! Remember if you are overweight you are at greater risk of high blood pressure, so whilst you'll be spoilt for choice in terms of rich food, try and eat healthily. And remember to watch the salt - it's even hidden in many foods!

Incorporate gentle exercise into your family entertaining this Christmas; a walk in the park, a game of frisbee or a bike ride will not only help you work off the mince pies but can actually help to reduce high blood pressure.

Relax! Amongst trips to the supermarket, shops and family get togethers, give yourself some 'Me Time', essential to keep stress levels down. Lie in a dark room with your favourite music on for 10 minutes, have a bath with scented candles or simply curl up with a hot drink and your favourite book.

If travelling a long distance to see family, make sure you're fully refreshed and have had adequate sleep. Plus give yourself regular breaks en-route. Not only will this reduce your stress levels and in turn blood pressure, but it'll up your concentration levels and relieve the kid's boredom.

Don't stress out about the cost of Christmas. Instead get together with family or friends to buy joint presents - it'll not only be easier on your wallet but reducing the worry of money will help keep blood pressure levels down (and wallets full!).

Dr Chris Steele, GP and renowned TV Doctor, comments, " Stress can have a significant impact on your blood pressure, so it's important for all of us to keep it to a minimum. For mums and dads Christmas can be extremely stressful and if you are over 50 and overweight, you are more likely to be at risk from high blood pressure. So, if you're organising a big family Christmas, be prepared and take things easy! A home monitor, used when relaxed will reassure you and help to keep an eye on your blood pressure. After all, you don't want anything to spoil the festivities!"

So, what are you waiting for? Get planning to keep your blood pressure down and have the best Christmas! Even better, if you want to buy your loved ones the latest health gadget this Christmas, and give yourself peace of mind that they can take control of their health by monitoring their blood pressure regularly, then check out the new Braun SensorControl EasyClick Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor.

One of the most reliable and easy to use home monitoring kits available - the Braun SensorControl EasyClick Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor has an 'EasyClick' wrist cuff with soft inflation which automatically fastens correctly to your wrist for clinically proven accuracy and comfort. A fastening that is too tight would give lower than normal levels whilst a looser one would give higher than normal levels. To further enhance accuracy the monitor includes unique positioning technology. The user's wrist is guided in a step-by-step process by a visual on the monitor to the recommended measuring position at heart level and the monitor automatically starts to take a reading only when the arm is in the correct position. This is further confirmed by an audio and visual signal. In addition, a traffic light system confirms whether the arm was held in the correct position throughout the measurement process. All these features ensure a reliable reading every time.

The new Braun SensorControl EasyClick is available through Argos, independent pharmacies and well-known pharmacy chains at around GBP 99.99. Stockist enquiries: 0800 783 7010.


Notes to Editors
Other Braun Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors are available nation-wide at Argos, Amazon, leading pharmacies and department stores. Prices range from GBP 44.99 - GBP 99.99.

*Journal of Human Hypertension
**The survey was conducted by TNS, via PhoneBus amongst a representative sample of 1001 GB adults aged 16+. The survey was conducted from 6th - 8th August 2004.

For further information and images please contact EHPR:

Louise Gallacher 01753 844046
Alison Snoswell 01753 844047

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