We take our heart pumping blood throughout our body for granted. Yet, the force required to accomplish unending task is enormous. Hence, medical professionals are always on the lookout for clues as to when this ability is becoming jeopardized. They accomplish this by taking our blood pressure every time we visit their office or have to go to the hospital.
Blood pressure is nothing more than the force of the pumped blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. You experience some of this when you feel your pulse. Doctors and nurses want to have some mathematical measurements by which to compare your blood pressure to that of recognized standards.
Reading Blood Pressure Values
There are actually two standard values. One is called the systolic pressure (or the pressure when the blood is being pushed into your arteries). The other, the diastolic pressure, is determined when the heart relaxes between pumps. The two values, often expressed as a ratio in the same order (e.g., 130/90 or “130 over 90?), determine, to a large degree, the well-being of your pulmonary system.
The two numbers are actually pressure readings expressed in millimeters of mercury, a standard pressure unit. Values 120/80 or lower are considered good; values of 140/90 and higher put you into high blood pressure territory.
What to Do About High Blood Pressure
The good news is that you can do something about high blood pressure. Yes, there are medications that can help. But, losing weight, exercising (that causes your heart and pulmonary system to improve their tone, similar to what we do with our other muscles), cutting back on salt intake and changing parts of your overall diet can all help to lower blood pressure readings.
Still, due to hereditary, other medications you may be taking, your age and other factors, you may be predisposed to have higher blood pressure.
So, check with your medical professional for ideas to help you keep your blood pressure in the healthful range and, hopefully, you’ll be seeing him/her for a lot longer.