One of the quickest and easiest ways to gauge one’s general health is by monitoring one’s own blood pressure. The simple rhythm of your pulse can say a lot about you: what your lifestyle is, what might be wrong with your diet, what your normal blood pressure is, what your health problems are, and what you can do about them.
Simply put, your blood pressure is a measurement of the force against the walls of your arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. Readings are given as one number over another; the top number is the systolic, the bottom the diastolic. Systolic refers to the blood pressure when the heart is contracting, while diastolic is when the heart is in a state of relaxation. Generally, a normal blood pressure reading is around 120 over 80. Any systolic reading over 140 is considered high, as is any diastolic reading over 90.
It’s a good idea to check your blood pressure regularly to avoid hypertension, especially if you have a history of heart problems or suffer from obesity. Seniors, whose blood pressure can vary should monitor their own blood pressure, as should diabetics, who must maintain tight blood pressure control.
Lastly, even relatively healthy people can benefit from knowing what their normal blood pressure is on a regular basis. Being conscious of one’s own health is a first step to greater body knowledge and freedom from ailment. It may also add as an incentive to quit habits that exacerbate hypertension, such as smoking or caffeine use. Conversely, it may encourage healthy habits that lower your pulse:
- conscious deep breathing
- eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- taking natural blood pressure supplements, such as fish oil or folic acid
Sometimes the simplest of information can lead to a healthier, happier lifestyle.