The sounds of each heartbeat represent another moment of our lives. It is the closest thing we as humans have to a measurement of our lives. Blood pressure is something no person who desires a truly healthy body should ignore. Whether it’s too high or just right, understanding your own blood pressure is one way you can genuinely recognize if your body is running strong. Here is a guide to everything you need to know about blood pressure.
New Blood pressure guidelines
American Heart Association
The AHA was founded in 1924. It is an organization with more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters. Their primary goal is funding research in the name of public health. Nationwide they have 156 local offices and more than 3,000 employees.
Since they are such a reputable organization, they often present legitimate findings on many areas of health, especially those concerning heart health. That is why when it comes to blood pressure, you will often find them to be the authority on what is considered healthy.
Blood Pressure Measurement
When you get your blood pressure measured you will get two numbers. These numbers are based on your heart squeezes. As the blood pumps out and pushes against the arteries, you will get a maximum (systolic) number, and as it leaves you will get a minimum (diastolic) number. This will result in a reading such as 120/80 mm Hg.
Blood Pressure Chart
Understand the Results
Normal blood pressure
Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. If this is your result, then your basic level of activity appears to be within a healthy range.
If your blood pressure maximum (systolic) is 120-129, and the minimum (diastolic) is less than 80 mm Hg. This means you are at risk and it’s time to take your lifestyle into account and start monitoring more. This can easily be changed with a proper diet and activity.
Stage 1 Hypertension
Anything ranging from 130-139 systolic or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic is labeled as stage 1 hypertension. This means you have a high risk of cardiovascular diseases. This will require consistent monitoring and a higher level of lifestyle changes.
Stage 2 Hypertension
Readings of 140/90 mm Hg or higher means you now have stage 2 hypertension. Along with extreme lifestyle improvements, you will most likely need to start taking medication. The risk for heart disease and stroke are now at very high levels.
Anything exceeding 180/120 mm Hg requires medical attention. This level means you are having a hypertensive crisis and you could be feeling chest pain and shortness of breath. If you see a reading like this after a couple of tests and experience symptoms, you should contact a hospital as soon as possible.
When and How to Check your Blood Pressure?
Besides making sure your blood pressure monitor is working correctly, there are a few tips to get the most out of your measurement. The first step is to never check it right after waking up. This can affect the results. It’s best to prep for your morning followed by checking it right before eating or exercising.
Another tip is to always sit quietly while testing twice a day. This gives the most accurate reading since stressful thoughts will influence the measurement. It’s also good to double check your reading each time to be sure. You can never be too careful when it comes to blood pressure.
Lastly, it’s essential to limit food and especially caffeine before checking your blood pressure. It helps to use the restroom right before performing a test.
Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
Some foods that are known for their ability to aid in blood pressure as well as heart health. This list is very long and includes berries, green tea, kale, bananas, fish, oats, avocados, and beetroots. You should also make sure to lower intake of foods that contain high salt content.
Blood pressure is nothing to joke about, but with a healthy lifestyle, you have nothing to fear. Your heart more than just a measurement of love, it’s a measurement of life.