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Why Get Your Blood Pressure Checked?

checking blood pressure  

When your blood pressure is measured, it is a measure of how hard the heart has to work to pump the blood. 

When the arteries become hardened with cholesterol plaque and calcium the heart has to strain to pump blood through them. This makes the blood pressure go abnormally high. 

Those whose blood pressure are consistently higher than this norm have high blood pressure or hypertension, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.


Know Your Blood Pressure Numbers

Blood pressure levels for adults:

 

Systolic (higher number)

Diastolic (lower number)

Normal

less than 120

less than 80

Prehypertension

120-139

80-89

Hypertension

140-159

90-99


Lifestyle Changes to Manage High Blood Pressure

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight makes the heart work harder.
  • Exercise. Regular exercise can lower blood pressure. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight and make you feel better.
  • Limit the amount of salt and fats you eat. Salt makes you retain water and raises blood pressure in some people.  A diet low in fat can help you lose weight.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking raises blood pressure and damages blood vessels.
  • Manage your stress. Physical or emotional stress raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder.


For More Information 

hand holding heart Checking your own blood pressure 
podcast Podcast: How grains and veggies lower blood pressure
quiz How well do you understand high blood pressure?

 


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