Understanding blood pressure readings

The only way to truly know whether you have healthy blood pressure is to have it checked. It’s a really simple and painless process where a strap is placed over your upper arm, and using some specialist kit the strap is inflated then slowly deflated until your blood pressure and pulse are found.

There are loads of places that you can get this done. These include through your GP, a gym, at your local pharmacy, or through your Juice programme. You can also buy these monitors over the counter, but be sure to read the instruction manual thoroughly to make sure the strap is in the right place. Once the test is done, understanding the results is key to controlling your blood pressure. Blood pressure categories First, we need to understand two words related to blood pressure; systolic and diastolic.
  • Systolic, the higher number, is the maximum pressure your heart exerts whilst beating
  • Diastolic, the lower number, is the amount of pressure in your arteries between beats.
So, what ranges am I looking for?
  • 90/60 or lower means you may have low blood pressure. This usually isn’t a problem, but it can sometimes make you feel faint or dizzy, or could be a sign of another health issue.
  • 90/60 – 120/80 is your ideal range. Also called “normal” blood pressure, at this level you have a much lower risk of heart disease or stroke. Following a healthy lifestyle with quality nutrition and regular exercise, will help you stay there.
  • 120/80 – 140/90 is pre-high blood pressure. Also called “high normal”, this is not necessarily high blood pressure, but something to keep an eye on.
  • 140/90 or over means you may have high blood pressure. Most physicians use this as the cut off point for diagnosing high blood pressure (hypertension). This is the point where your risk for cardiac issues is higher, and depending on the levels they may prescribe you some medication and advise a number of lifestyle changes to help you to reduce it.
What do I need to do if it’s high? First of all, don’t cause yourself any undue stress over it. A single reading doesn’t necessarily mean you have high blood pressure as many factors can affect the results on the day. Be sure to take a reading on a regular basis, say, once every two or three weeks, and see how consistent it is. You only need one of the readings to be high to be diagnosed with high blood pressure, and only one needs to be lower to be diagnosed with low blood pressure. If this is the case, we would highly recommend erring on the side of caution and booking in with your doctor where they will be able to take a closer look. The only way to find out is to book yourself in. It’s never time wasted. Written by Everyday Juice Limited.