Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps out blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood.
This is called systolic pressure. Between beats, when your heart is at rest, your blood pressure falls. This is called diastolic pressure.
Your blood pressure reading has two numbers. The systolic (top number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body. The diastolic (bottom number) is the force when your heart relaxes between beats.
Healthy adults should have a systolic blood pressure below 120. The diastolic should be below 80. These are general guidelines. Check with your doctor to see what numbers are best for you.
High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.
About 70 million American adults—one in every three adults—have high blood pressure.3 High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so many people do not know they have it.
You can have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. That’s why it is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.
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Experts discussing Blood Pressure
Ari Whitten, Ph.D. (Cand), CES, PESHealth expert, #1 best-selling author, and the creator of the Energy Blueprint system for overcoming fatigue and increasing energy levels.
Alex Leaf, M.S.With a degree in nutrition, has been writing about nutrition, health, and fitness for over a decade.
Dr. James DiNicolantonioDoctor of Pharmacy, cardiovascular research scientist, expert in evidence-based nutrition, and author.
Dr. Julian Whitaker, M.D.Founder and medical director of Whitaker Wellness Integrative Medicine Expert and best-selling author.
Dr. Dennis Goodman, MD, FACP, FACC, FCCPAuthor, Board Certified Integrative Cardiologist, Clinical Professor of Medicine, and Director of Integrative Medicine at NYU.
Dr. Jacob Israel Liberman, OD., Ph.D.Author, speaker, and pioneer in light, vision, and consciousness.
Dr. Sarfraz Zaidi, MD, FACP, FACETop “holistic” Endocrinologist, a medical expert on thyroid, diabetes, vitamin D, and stress management, and CEO of Jafer Nutritional Products, Inc.