High Blood Pressure

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries. When your blood pressure stays high for a long time it is called "high blood pressure". This means your heart is working too hard.

What are the two numbers in blood pressure readings?

  • The top number is "systolic" blood pressure. It measures the force of blood as your heart pumps. This number changes as you go through daily stresses.
  • The bottom number is "diastolic" blood pressure. It measures the force of your blood between heartbeats. This number stays about the same most of the time.

What is considered high blood pressure?

Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. When your systolic blood pressure is between 120-139 and your diastolic blood pressure is between 80-89 you might get high blood pressure. Talk to your Doctor about lifestyle changes.

Stage 1 high blood pressure (hypertension) is when your systolic blood pressure is between 140-159 and your diastolic blood pressure is between 90-99. Talk to your Doctor about medicine and lifestyle changes that can help lower your blood pressure.

Tips to prevent high blood pressure

  • Know your blood pressure numbers
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Keep stress under control
  • Cut back on alcohol and stop smoking
  • Exercise at least 30-60 minutes a day
  • Ask your Doctor about the Blood Pressure Management Program

Where can you check your blood pressure?

  • At your local drug store
  • In your Doctor’s office
  • At home with your own blood pressure cuff

Learn more about blood pressure by joining the Blood Pressure Management Program - it's FREE for IEHP Members.

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