Blood Pressure Chart: Everything You Need to Know
Using a blood pressure chart is essential if you suffer from hypertension or even prehypertension. It will essentially allow you to better understand how healthy your heart is. The blood pressure chart below shows you all of the categories and ranges that you should be aware of as you work toward attaining a healthier heart and body.
The blood pressure chart clearly shows you the systolic and diastolic value ranges of low blood pressure, normal blood pressure, prehypertension, hypertension stage 1, hypertension stage 2, and the high blood pressure crisis categories. The systolic mm Hg value is the higher number (e.g. 120/80), while the diastolic mm Hg value is the lower number (e.g. 120/80).
Having high blood pressure as shown in the bottom half of the blood pressure chart puts you at risk for developing heart disease and stroke. It’s important to know that blood pressure itself is the force of blood pushing against the arterial walls that carry blood from your heart to the other parts of your body. You can expect blood pressure to fluctuate slightly throughout the day. Nevertheless, it can cause a lot of damage to your heart and cause serious health problems if it stays high for a long period of time .
What’s the difference between systolic and diastolic on the blood pressure chart?
A blood pressure chart is essentially comprised of two value ranges: Systolic and Diastolic. You see these values all the time, but what do they mean?
Well, the systolic value of your blood pressure is based on the amount of pressure in your arteries during the contraction portion of a heart beat. This is also referred to as your systolic blood pressure. The second and smaller number is called your diastolic blood pressure. This measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart “relaxes” between beats.
Improving your position on the blood pressure chart
If your values on the blood pressure chart aren’t where you’d like them to be, there are in fact many different actions you can take to help you improve them, as well as improving your mean arterial pressure. For one, you can try to cut back on your salt intake. This may mean doing more than simply not adding salt to your meals. Many foods contain an unnaturally large amount of salt in them, whether to enhance flavor or to lengthen shelf life.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that you consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults . This may come to the surprise of some people when you take into consideration that a McDonald’s Big Mac has over 1,000 mg of sodium in it. And that’s not including the sodium from french fries or a soda.
To help you be more cognizant of your goals, as well as your progress, you may want to try to use a food journal. You can use it to write down all of the meals that you eat during the day. This is a great way to show you exactly what your eating habits look like. Also, having the prior knowledge that you’ll be documenting your all of your meals in your food journal may make you rethink eating foods that are very high in sodium.
Exercising regularly is another vital part of improving your position on the blood pressure chart. Whether you do resistance training or cardiovascular training, the goal is to just get moving, especially if you’re sedentary. Be that as it may, cardiovascular exercise is actually known to be one of the best exercise methods for lowering blood pressure. According to WebMD, who puts cardiovascular exercise as the number 1 mode of exercise for controlling high blood pressure, “Cardiovascular exercise can help lower your blood pressure and make your heart stronger. Examples include walking, jogging, jumping rope, bicycling (stationary or outdoor), cross-country skiing, skating, rowing, high- or low-impact aerobics, swimming, and water aerobics” . Try out some of these aerobic training methods today to help you lower your blood pressure!
Below, you’ll see a blood pressure chart that shows you where your values should be in relation to your age. This information can be very beneficial for you as the normal blood pressure range for a 60 year old is much different than the normal range for a 6 year old.
Blood pressure chart conclusion
Using a blood pressure chart will allow you to have a better understanding of how healthy your heart is. Whether your blood pressure is dangerously high or safely normal, you should make it a point to be cognizant of where you reside at on the blood pressure chart to either improve or maintain.
If you’re in the normal range, then that’s great! However, this is not an excuse to slack off from your diet or exercise program because such idleness may cause you to enter the prehypertension or hypertension stage 1 category of the blood pressure chart. Instead of allowing this to happen, try to put together a “maintenance” program that will allow you to stay within this healthy blood pressure range for the long term.
If you are unsure of which category you’re in on the blood pressure chart, then you can effortlessly get your blood pressure checked at your local pharmacy or you can buy a quality blood pressure monitor to make things more convenient for you. Either way, this is a sure way to give you the vital information you need so you can continue with your efforts on attaining a healthier heart.
Finally, make sure that you talk to your doctor before you make any significant lifestyle changes to ensure that everything goes safely and successfully. In addition, it can be a good idea to make sure you have a list of questions and concerns that you’d like to have resolved. Doing this, as well as staying cognizant of your place on the blood pressure chart will undoubtedly allow you to greatly improve your heart’s status quo.
1. High Blood Pressure Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_bloodpressure.htm
2. How Much Sodium Should I Eat Per Day? Retrieved from https://sodiumbreakup.heart.org/how_much_sodium_should_i_eat
3. Exercise Tips for Those With High Blood Pressure. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/safe-exercise-tips#1