According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 75 million people living in the United States have high blood pressure. This number works out to about one in every three Americans. Are you one of them?
In continuing our goal of providing ways to improve your heart health during American Heart Month, our team at AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN wants you to know how important your blood pressure number is to your heart health—and how you can lower your blood pressure if it is too high.
What Is the Normal Blood Pressure Range?
When you go to any doctor appointment—no matter if it is for sickness or for a checkup—you will usually have your blood pressure checked by a nurse. Your blood pressure level is extremely important, as it could be one of the first signs of heart disease.
If you have a normal (healthy) blood pressure reading, your reading will be less than 120/80. The exact numbers beyond that range determine how your blood pressure is categorized.
Blood Pressure Ranges
- Normal—Less than 120 and less than 80
- Elevated—120 to 129 and less than 80
- High Blood Pressure (Stage 1)—130 to 139 AND 80 to 89
- High Blood Pressure (Stage 2)—140 or Higher AND 90 or Higher
- Hypertensive Crisis—Higher than 180 AND/OR Higher than 120
What Happens If Your Blood Pressure Gets Too High?
Although high blood pressure is thought to be an adult disease, anyone—even children—can experience high blood pressure.
When you have high blood pressure, your blood is hitting your artery walls forcefully, which can damage them over time and cause your heart to have to work harder. This increases your risk of both heart disease and stroke.
Ways to Maintain a Normal Blood Pressure
- Lose extra pounds.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Reduce sodium in your diet.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Quit smoking.
- Cut back on caffeine.
- Reduce your stress.
Has it been over a year since your last blood pressure reading? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN today for a checkup and blood pressure reading!