Blood pressure explained

Blood pressure explained

When having a blood pressure test, it can be quite overwhelming trying to understand whether your reading is healthy or ‘normal’. So, here is everything you need to know for the next time you have a blood pressure test.

What do the numbers of a reading mean?

Simply,a measurement with two numbers will appearwhich look similar to a fraction–a number on top (systolic) and a number on the bottom (diastolic).

The top number represents the pressure in your arteries when your heart muscle contracts (this is called systolic pressure). The bottom number represents the blood pressure when the heart muscle is between beats (this is called diastolic pressure).

What is a normal blood pressure reading?

A normal blood pressure reading should seethe top number between 90 and 120, and the bottom number reading between 60 and less than 80. A reading with these numbers is considered within the normal range.

What to do when your blood pressure is above the normal range

According to the experts at House Call Doctor, if you have recently had a blood pressure test and your results were above the normal range, you may need to look at changing some of your lifestyle habits. These can include:

  • Exercising regularly–Simply exercising for 30 minutes a day can help lower your blood pressure. It is important to exercise frequently as your blood pressure can rise again quite easily.
  • Eating a healthy diet –By maintaining a healthy diet including whole grains, fruits and vegetables,you can help lower your blood pressure.
  • Reducing sodium in your diet –Small reductions of salt in your diet can improve both your heart health and reduce your blood pressure.
  • Quitting smoking –It is unsurprising smoking increases your blood pressure and by eliminating even one cigarette each day, your overall health will slowly improve.
  • Limiting your alcohol intake –Rather than drinking large amounts in one day, try drinking in moderation. Approximately one drink for women and two drinks for men in any one sitting is the recommended amount if you choose to drink alcohol.
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