Blood pressure is a measure of the force that blood exerts against the walls of your arteries as it flows through your body. Blood pressure readings consist of two numbers: the systolic pressure (the top number) and the diastolic pressure (the bottom number).
The systolic pressure measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats and pushes blood out into your body. The diastolic pressure measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart is resting between beats.
A healthy blood pressure reading is typically around 120/80 mmHg (millimeters of mercury). However, the normal range can vary depending on factors such as age, gender, and overall health.
Here’s a breakdown of blood pressure categories:
Normal blood pressure: Less than 120/80 mmHg
Elevated blood pressure: Between 120-129/less than 80 mmHg
Stage 1 hypertension: Between 130-139/80-89 mmHg
Stage 2 hypertension: 140 or higher/90 or higher mmHg
Hypertensive crisis: Higher than 180/higher than 120 mmHg
It’s important to note that a single high reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. Blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day depending on factors such as physical activity, stress, and diet. If you consistently have readings in the elevated or hypertension categories, it’s important to talk to your doctor about ways to manage your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.