One of the many reasons we should visit a General Practitioner, or our Family Doctor at least once a year is to monitor our blood pressure. This basic and fundamental measurement can tell a healthcare provider a lot of information about the state of your health. Being there are multiple facets to what blood pressure can mean, it is important to know that results will be different at different stages in life.
Knowing your results in coordination with your age group can help establish that you are low, normal, or high range. Understanding your own blood pressure and being able to decipher different elements of your reading can be critical to many health-related issues.
What Is Your Blood Pressure?
Your blood pressure is a measurement of force in which your blood flows through your body. The force is created by the contraction of your heart. The health of your heart and arteries both influence how that force moves through the body. This most directly influences the circulatory system. It is built to deliver nourishment to the organs and tissue as well as transport digestive bi-product back out.
This blood force influences oxygen and water being circulated throughout the entire body. Your healthy blood pressure range or normal bp will change slightly as you exit and enter a new age range.
Your blood pressure range is made up of two numbers that relate to one another. The first number represents your systolic pressure, and the second, your diastolic pressure. These numbers are important in relation to one another and are typically determined by a medical device specifically made to measure blood force, known as a sphygmomanometer.
Systolic pressure is determined by the heart’s contraction and the diastolic pressure by the space between beats. Your blood pressure reading will be delivered in this phrasing - 111 over 76mmHG. Systolic pressure over diastolic pressure is your high number over your low number.
Understanding The Numbers
In the each sphygmomanometer, there is a piece of mercury within a tube, and it is reading how it moves through gravity. Your blood pressure range is measured in millimeters of mercury. The force given by the contracting of the heart is powerful. This number will always read higher than the second number. The force is greatest closer to the heart.
As the fore moves through the body it loses force. This change in force keeps the flow moving. The difference in these two numbers is the difference between maximum force and least. The normal bp range has changed slightly over the years as cardiovascular health continues to escalate into common disease states. The best way to understand the numbers is keeping track over the course of time.
Depending on your needs you can track the numbers over the course of a day, a week, or a year. The pattern shown after certain periods of time can give your numbers a consistency or show erratic differentiations.
Which Number Is Most Important
In more recent times the number that is most important has changed. According to the National High Blood Pressure Education Program, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, both numbers are equally important.
In the past, the diastolic number was seen as more important and would influence when and what treatments would be used. With the rise of cardiovascular disease, enough perspective has been gathered to not neglect either number and its importance.
Healthy Blood Pressure Ranges
Your healthy blood pressure range depends on how old you are and ranges from elevated blood pressure and stage one hypertension. Elevated blood pressure’s range is 120-129/less than 80. Hypertension’s range is 130-139/80-89. A healthy blood pressure range takes comparing your numbers with the blood pressure reading chart.
If your blood pressure is in the elevated stages or the hypotension stages you might be referred medication to address that. You can also use the blood pressure chart by age to find what is typical for your age group.
Unhealthy BP Range
On the high range, any systolic numbers ranging from 120-140 are considered prehypertension. Like the systolic and diastolic numbers from 80-90 should not be ignored. An unhealthy blood pressure range should be a signifier that an underlying health issue needs to be addressed.
How To Maintain A Healthy Blood Pressure
Whether your numbers tend to come in on the high or low side you will want to take appropriate lifestyle changes first, to address maintaining a balanced number. If your numbers are high:
- Losing Weight
- Increasing cardiovascular exercise
- Decreasing amounts of sodium
- Restricting excessive alcohol
Most influential is a change in diet. This is something we do three to five times a day and can have the largest effects on our blood pressure awareness and health. Blood pressure machines have become commonplace in most pharmacies since it has been proven such an important way to measure overall health.