Managing High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries, which carry blood to the rest of your body!

Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:
The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.

If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, “120 over 80,” or write, “120/80 mmHg.”

High blood pressure is when your blood pressure is greater than what is considered healthy. To the right is a chart of the different ranges for blood pressure. 

If you’ve had consistently high blood pressure measurements, you may have hypertension

  • Risk factors for hypertension include:
    • Family history of hypertension 
    • A diagnosis of diabetes (high blood sugar) 
    • A diet high in salt 
    • Low physical activity 
    • Too much alcohol
      • Women: > 1 drink a day 
      • Men: > 2 drinks a day 
    • Smoking! 
  • Risk also increases as you age 

Why is managing your blood pressure important?

Information on Alcohol Intake

Information on Smoking

How do I take my blood pressure?

What does my blood pressure reading mean?

Tips for reducing your risk of hypertension and managing your blood pressure: 

  1. Measure your blood pressure regularly! You can find blood pressure cuffs at most neighborhood pharmacies and grocery stores or buy your own to measure at home.
2. If you have diabetes, manage your diabetes! 
3. Make sure to take your medications! 
4. Increase your daily physical activity! 
5. Improve your diet! 
6. Limit your alcohol intake. 
7. Limit your smoking. 
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