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What is Normal Blood Pressure?

The heart is a pumping machine that pumps blood throughout all parts of our body. Blood that is pumped from the heart exerts pressure against the walls of your arteries. Arteries are muscular and elastic, stretching when the heart pumps blood into them. Excessive pressure puts a strain on the arteries and on the heart itself. Blood pressure depends on how forcefully the heart pumps blood around the body and how narrowed or relaxed your arteries are.The truth is that blood pressure is needed for blood to circulate throughout the body so that the vital organs and tissues can get the oxygen and nutrients that they need in order to function. What is crucial is learning how to keep blood pressure on a normal level.

Blood pressure is measured and expressed in two numbers. Example is a blood pressure of 120 over 80, which is written as ‘120/80 mmHg’. The systolic blood pressure is listed first which is the maximum pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts and pushes blood out into the body. The second number, called diastolic blood pressure is the lowest pressure in the arteries, measured between beats when the heart relaxes after it contracts.

There have been discussions on whether the systolic or diastolic pressure is more important for health. Some reports suggests that the systolic is a little more important, but the truth of the matter is that both numbers are important.

Under normal conditions, your heart beats about 60 to 80 times per minute. Your blood pressure rises when the heart contracts (beats) and falls when your heart relaxes between beats. Blood pressure is always changing because of different things that we do throughout the day. Every time that we do something different, our blood pressure changes, but it should normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg for an adult.

It is good to consider getting a Blood Pressure Monitor so you can monitor your blood pressure daily and record it. You can get an accurate digital blood pressure monitor from Amazon.com like this item Omron HR-100C Heart Rate Monitor.

What is high-normal blood pressure?

Blood pressure that is higher than normal but lower that the high blood pressure range is called high-normal blood pressure. It is sometimes called “prehypertension” a stage that warns your blood pressure is going up. The high blood pressure guidelines from the U.S. National Institutes of Health revealed that millions of Americans have what is called “prehypertension”. The guidelines set a reading of 120 and 139 for the top number, or between 80 and 89 for the bottom number as prehypertension.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada reported that there are over 2.5 million Canadians who have high-normal blood pressure. As per their definition, high-normal blood pressure is a blood pressure reading of 130-139/85-89 mmHg which they also noted that it is not high enough to require drug treatment in people who do not have diabetes or kidney disease. Their blood pressure guidelines warned that people with “high-normal” blood pressure develop full-blown high blood pressure over the following four years – putting them at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke – unless they are diagnosed and treated.

A reading of 140/90 or higher is high blood pressure. Low blood pressure on the other hand is not usually set by a specific blood pressure number.

Blood pressure tends to rise with age and carry with it an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, organ failure, and other complications of high blood pressure (hypertension). No matter your age or gender, get your blood pressure checked regularly, and know what your blood pressure is, especially so if you have high normal blood pressure.

A shift in lifestyle is needed if one is bordering on hypertension. Those nuggets of advice are always helpful: Quit smoking and drinking alcohol, excercise regularly, cut back on salt, try some form of the Mediterranean or DASH diet – lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, fish and low-fat or non-fat dairy.

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