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What is Normal Blood Pressure and Ways to Go About Achieving It

Aug 26, 2008
"What is normal blood pressure?" This is a common query asked by those who suffer from unnatural blood pressure. Normal blood pressure, expressed in mm Hg readings, contain two numbers. In order to understand what normal is, you need to understand what the two numbers mean.

When a health care professional takes your blood pressure, they put a cuff around your arm and manually or mechanically pump the cuff to full inflation. They slowly release the air as they listen to the sound of blood coursing through your veins. The level of mm Hg or millimeters of Mercury is what the professional records when they first hear the beat caused by the heart pumping blood. This number is the systolic level and the upper number in the equation that determines your blood pressure.

The health care professional continues to listen until they no longer hear the beat. As the pressure in the cuff drops gradually, they will no longer hear the heart pump eventually and they record this number. This is the resting pressure or diastolic pressure and bottom number of the equation.

If your heart beats 70 times per minute over the course of the day, it accomplishes 100,800 beats in a single day! Various conditions, both normal and abnormal make the heart beat harder. Some of these are stress, which creates the hormone adrenaline that constricts the blood vessels in certain parts of the body in preparation for circumstances such as 'fight or flight', arterial blockage, and reduction of vessel elasticity.

When your blood pressure reading is between 90 to 120 for the upper measurement or systolic reading, and the lower number is 60 to 79 for the diastolic reading, your blood pressure is normal.

Higher blood pressure exists and is broken down according to the severity of the reading. Prehypertension begins when the blood pressure for the systolic reading is higher than 120 but no higher than 139 or the diastolic pressure is between 80 to 89. This level is a warning that you need to make serious changes in your lifestyle to reduce potential damage and further increase in blood pressure.

Level 1 high hypertension exists when either the systolic pressure is 140 to 159 or the diastolic pressure is 90 to 99. This level is serious and often requires medication, weight loss or exercise if doctors can find no underlying problem causing the increased pressure.

Anything higher than these numbers is level 2 hypertension. When your blood pressure reaches these levels, you are in imminent danger for stroke, kidney failure or coronary problems.

Over long periods of time, the increased blood pressure creates changes in the blood vessels and other parts of the body that lead to severe debilitating diseases and can lead to a higher risk of both mortality and morbidity.

You can take steps to reduce your blood pressure if you find it to be unnaturally high. Seek professional help immediately. Prescription drugs may be necessary to initially control the hypertension, but a change in lifestyle is the best method for reducing the blood pressure levels.

* Increase your physical activity. Whenever you begin an exercise program, work with your physician to design a program that manages to increase your heart rate without putting too much strain on it.. Increased fitness reduces blood pressure numbers.

* Lose weight.

* Reduce cholesterol and plaque build up in the vessels

* RELAX! Stress, particularly unresolved stress, creates high blood pressure

* Change your diet. There are several food that actually lower your cholesterol and reduce your weight, factors for hypertension.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you will no longer be wondering, "What is normal blood pressure?" Instead, we hope that you are on your way to leading a healthier and more fulfilling life.
About the Author
Jan Oliver is an academic, writer and researcher in natural health. See more of her work at http://www.control-your-blood-pressure.com/. Discover genuine natural ways to lower blood pressure immediately! Click Here to get your free report on dealing with blood pressure.
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