Before we delve into the specifics of blood pressure readings, let’s understand the basics. Blood pressure refers to the force exerted by your blood against the walls of your arteries as it flows through them. It is expressed through two numbers: systolic and diastolic pressure. You can read more about hypertension and high blood pressure in this post.
The systolic pressure (the first number in the picture – 123) represents the force when your heart contracts or squeezes, pumping blood into your arteries. The diastolic pressure (the second number in the picture – 94) represents the force when your heart is at rest between beats. For instance, if your blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg, 120 is the systolic pressure, and 80 is the diastolic pressure.
What Do the Numbers Mean?
Whenever you take your blood pressure, the numbers are what gets interpreted to know whether or not you are hypertensive. So what do these numbers mean? Check out the chart below to find out.
The Importance of Monitoring Blood Pressure
Monitoring your blood pressure regularly is vital for maintaining overall health. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it can develop without noticeable symptoms. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to serious health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and more. When you are able to monitor your blood pressure consistently, it saves you from such issues.
Factors Affecting Blood Pressure
Several factors can influence blood pressure readings. Some of the primary factors include:
- Age: Blood pressure tends to increase with age.
- Weight: Being overweight or obese can contribute to high blood pressure.
- Physical Activity: Regular exercise can help lower blood pressure.
- Diet: A diet high in sodium and low in potassium may increase blood pressure.
- Stress: Chronic stress can impact blood pressure levels.
By understanding your blood pressure readings and making positive lifestyle changes, you can take charge of your heart health and reduce the risk of serious medical conditions. Remember to monitor your blood pressure regularly, prioritize a healthy lifestyle, and seek medical guidance if needed. Your heart will thank you for it.