So exactly, what are the numbers that make up your blood pressure?

Systolic Blood Pressure (top number) is the amount of pressure your blood in exerting against the artery walls when the heart is Beating.

Diastolic Blood Pressure (bottom number) is the amount of pressure your blood is exerting against the artery walls while the heart is Resting between beats.

The American Heart Association (heart.org) recognizes 5 categories of Blood Pressure.

Normal Blood Pressure is less than 120/80.  

Elevated Blood Pressure 120-129/less than 80. People with Elevated Blood Pressure are at higher risk of developing hypertension and need to make some lifestyle changes to prevent this.

Hypertension Stage 1 is when Blood Pressure consistently ranges from 130-139/ 80-89. Your dr may prescribe blood pressure medication at this point along with heart healthy diet and regular exercise.

Hypertension Stage 2 is when your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. Your doctor may prescribe a combination of blood pressure medications along with changes in diet and exercise.

Hypertensive Crisis is when your blood pressure exceeds 180/120. If your blood pressure is this high recheck it and call doctor immediately.

If your blood pressure is over 180/120 AND you are experiencing chest pain, numbness, weakness, back pain, shortness of breath, change in vision or difficulty speaking, then you should immediately call 911.

You can mitigate your heart risks by investing in a blood pressure monitor… undefined


a smart watch to track daily activities (i.e., heart rate, steps, calories, etc.). undefined

Janet Swenson, RN, BSN, MBA

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