Health Plus
September 27, 2011

Managing your blood pressure is important! There are no warning signs or symptoms if you develop high blood pressure, and uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart attack or stroke. Blood pressure also tends to rise with age, so knowing and understanding your numbers, and making lifestyle choices to lower your risk, is a sound approach. 

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings:

  • Normal blood pressure is 119/79 mmHg or lower.
  • Elevated blood pressure is when readings are consistently between 120-129 systolic and less than 80 diastolic.
  • Having consistent readings of 130 systolic or 80 diastolic or higher is considered hypertension.
  • See your health care provider if your blood pressure is 130/80 mmHg or higher. 

Best Practices for Healthy Lifestyle Choices:

  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly and understand what the numbers mean.
  • Identify the risks you can control: weight, physical activity, food choices, stress management, tobacco, and alcohol use.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, even a 5-10% weight loss can help with blood pressure control.
  • Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more days a week.
  • Stop using tobacco products.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol consumption. Women should drink no more than one drink a day, men no more than two a day.
  • Eat healthy. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan has been proven to lower blood pressure.
  • Manage your stress.
  • If you are on blood pressure medication, take it as prescribed.

How We Can Help:

Additional Information:

Controlling Blood Pressure

American Heart Association: High Blood Pressure

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: Your Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure

Keywords: Systolic, Diastolic, DASH Diet, Normal Blood Pressure, High Blood Pressure