JAN 20, 2019 11:05 AM PST

Understand Your Blood Pressure Measurements

WRITTEN BY: Abbie Arce

Every time you go to your doctor, they check your blood pressure (BP). You know that this is an important measure of your hearts health, but do you know what your target number should be? 

Blood pressure is the pressure of blood on the walls of your arteries. Doctors test for this figure to know how much strain you are putting on your circulatory system. The higher the BP, the higher the risk of health issues. 

Health problems likely to be caused by high BP include heart attack and stroke, both potentially fatal events. That said it’s incredibly important to know your BP measurements, and take measures to control it. 

The results from your BP test will present as two numbers. These figures represent the systolic (higher) and diastolic (lower) BP. 

The systolic BP is the pressure within the cardiovascular system when the heart contracts and blood is being sent out to the body. This number should be under 120, with an ideal number being under 110. 

The diastolic BP is the pressure within the heart when it is relaxed. This number should be under 80, or ideally under 70.

The above video from The Cleveland Clinic explains the difference between systolic BP and diastolic. Additionally, the video reviews the ideal targets for a healthy BP reading.  

Sources: The Cleveland Clinic

About the Author
  • Abbie is an AFAA certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with an interest in all things health-science. She has recently graduated with her BS in Applied Sport and Exercise Science from Barry University in Miami. Next, she intends to earn an MPH with a focus in Epidemiology.
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