Healthy Blood Pressure and Why It Matters

Introduction

Keeping a healthy blood pressure is worth discussing. When it comes to blood pressure, 120/80 mmHg is “perfect,” or “the healthiest” right? Well, not exactly. The 120/80 mmHg is technically the borderline between normal and elevated blood pressure. Therefore 120/80 mmHg is not the ideal or the healthiest blood pressure reading, but it is not bad.

It might sound like we’re splitting hairs, but hypertension is a lot more dangerous than impaired vision. According to William Kofi Bosu and Dary Kojo Bosu, hypertension is a crucial public health issue in Ghana, and it is a primary cause of hospitalization and mortality. More than 100 million Americans are hypertensive, according to the American Heart Association.

It’s not all bad news, though. High blood pressure is largely preventable and treatable. It all starts with making the correct lifestyle and nutritional choices. It is also good to go for regular medical checkups. With this, you can prevent yourself from getting hypertension and detect it earlier when you have it.

Arm yourself with knowledge on the causes, risks factors, prevention, and the treatment of this common foe. This way, you can keep the numbers in a healthy range (that’s below 120/80 mmHg, for the record). Get tips from Sports Science Gh on how to recognize when your blood pressure is not within the normal range, and what to do.

So, What Is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure
Check your BP today.

Your doctor checks your blood pressure at each visit because it’s a key indicator of your health. But beyond the numbers on your medical report, how much do you really know about blood pressure at the basic level?

In layman’s terms, blood pressure (BP) is a measure of how hard your blood is pushing on the walls of your arteries as it moves through your body. The top (systolic) number gauges the pressure when your heart is beating, while the bottom (diastolic) number represents the pressure when your heart is resting between pumps.

Blood pressure can be categorized into the following:

  • Normal – Less or equal to 120/80 mmHg. (The healthy blood pressure).
  • Elevated – Between 120/80 and 130/80 mmHg. At this stage, you may also see a rise in the diastolic value.
  • Stage one hypertension – From 130 to 139 measures of the systolic and above 80 to 90 measures of the diastolic.
  • Stage two hypertension – 140 and above measure of the systolic, with the diastolic reading from 90 and above.
  • Hypertensive emergency – When the blood pressure is 180/120 and above. Danger!!! See a doctor right away or call 911.

What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure means the systolic (top) reading is 130 or higher and your diastolic (bottom) reading is 80 or higher. Every fluid in the body requires pressure to move just like the blood. However, when the blood pressure is high it’s an indication of a narrowed path of the blood. When the path of fluid is narrowed or constricted, there is an increase in how fast the fluid flows out, and how hard the fluid pushes against the walls of the pathway. This is similar to how humans get hypertension.

What Causes Hypertension?

  • Smoking
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Insufficient physical activity
  • Excessive consumption of salt
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Getting older
  • Genetics
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Thyroid and adrenal problems
  • Apnea (sleep deprivation)

The Health Risk of Hypertension

Hypertension can lead to critical health conditions
Hypertension can lead to death so please let’s live a healthy life.

Whatever the cause may be, hypertension doesn’t usually have any symptoms, which isn’t a good thing. Hypertension is often called the “silent killer” because it can lead to heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery disease, among other conditions, with little to no warning.

The Best Ways to Prevent Hypertension

healthy living helps lower blood pressure
A healthy lifestyle helps lower the numbers.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes, and preventing high blood pressure is no exception to that rule.

That’s especially true for people at higher risk for developing the condition, such as African Americans and those with a family history of hypertension. Even if you’re prone to high BP, though, there’s plenty you can do to keep your numbers from sliding into the red. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC), recommends the following ways to prevent high blood pressure:

  • Maintain healthy body weight. Hypertension is more likely if you are overweight or obese. We frequently analyze your body mass index to see if you’re in a healthy weight range (BMI). You can determine your BMI on the CDC’s Assessing Your Weight website if you know your weight and height.
  • Reduce the amount of alcohol intake. Drinking too much alcohol might cause your blood pressure to rise. Men should have no more than two alcoholic beverages each day, while women should consume no more than one. For more information, go to the CDC’s Alcohol and Public Health page.

About the author

Derrick Kwaku Amoako Ansah
Derrick Kwaku Amoako Ansah
Articles: 8

15 Comments

    • Isn’t there any other way to check out blood pressure without having to go to the hospital?

    • Thank you Gifty. Expect more quality content from Sports Science Gh. You can join our Our questions and answers forum to ask any questions related to health and fitness. The forum can be located on the menu.

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