What is Blood Pressure?
The first number is the pressure as your heart beats and pushes blood through the blood vessels. Health care providers call this the “systolic” pressure. The second number is the pressure when the vessels relax between heartbeats. It’s called the “diastolic” pressure.
The lower your blood pressure, the better your chances of delaying or preventing a heart attack or
You should always have an idea of what your blood pressure is, just as you know your height and weight.
Here’s what the numbers mean:
Healthy blood pressure: below 120/80
Early high blood pressure: between 120/80 and 140/90
High blood pressure: 140/90 or higher
How Will I Know if I Have High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is a silent problem — you won’t know you have it unless your health care provider checks your blood pressure. Have your blood pressure checked at each regular health care visit, or at least once every two years (people without diabetes or other risk factors for heart disease).
What Can I Do About High Blood Pressure?
Here are some easy tips to help reduce your blood pressure:
Work with your health care provider to find a treatment plan that’s right
Eat whole-grain breads and cereals.
Try herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods.
Check food labels and choose foods with less than 400 mg of sodium
Lose weight or take steps to prevent weight gain.
Limit alcohol consumption and consult your health care provider about whether it is safe to drink alcohol at all.
If you smoke, get help to quit.
Ask your health care provider about medications to help reduce high blood pressure. Samples of these types of medications include ACE inhibitors, ARBs, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and diuretics.