To measure your blood pressure, your doctor or a specialist will usually place an inflatable arm cuff around your arm and measure your blood pressure using a pressure-measuring gauge. A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. A blood pressure reading has a top number and bottom number .
Make sure to use a validated device, and check that the cuff fits. Bring the monitor with you to your doctor’s office to check its accuracy once a year.
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A blood pressure reading, given in millimeters of mercury , has two numbers. The first, or upper, number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats . The second, or lower, number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats .
Talk to your doctor about how to get started with checking your blood pressure at home. Your doctor may also recommend routine tests, such as a urine test , blood tests, a cholesterol test and an electrocardiogram — a test that measures your heart’s electrical activity. Your doctor may also recommend additional tests, such as an echocardiogram, to check for more signs of heart disease.
Practice healthy coping techniques, such as muscle relaxation, deep breathing or meditation. Getting regular physical activity and plenty of sleep can help, too. Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
- In overweight individuals, a weight loss of even five to 10 fatigue percent has been shown to reduce blood pressure.
- High blood pressure, also called hypertension, means the pressure in your arteries is above the normal range.
- Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls.
- Not only can this help reduce or control your blood pressure, but it can also help with weight management.
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For example, try brisk walking for about 30 minutes most days of the week. Or try interval training, in which you alternate short bursts of intense activity with short recovery periods of lighter activity. Aim to do muscle-strengthening exercises at least two days a week. Aim to limit sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams a day or less. However, a lower sodium intake — 1,500 mg a day or less — is ideal for most adults.
Aliskiren slows down the production of renin, an enzyme produced by your kidneys that starts a chain of chemical steps that increases blood pressure. These drugs block the effect of a natural chemical that can lead to salt and fluid retention, which can contribute to high blood pressure. In addition to reducing nerve impulses to blood vessels, alpha-beta blockers slow the heartbeat to reduce the amount of blood that must be pumped through the vessels. Alpha-beta blockers include carvedilol and labetalol . Grapefruit juice interacts with some calcium channel blockers, increasing blood levels of the medication and putting you at higher risk of side effects.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re concerned about interactions. Diuretics, sometimes called water pills, are medications that act on your kidneys to help your body eliminate sodium and water, reducing blood volume. Although 120/80 mm Hg or lower is the ideal blood pressure goal, doctors are unsure if you need treatment to reach that level.
Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease. These medications, including hydralazine and minoxidil, work directly on the muscles in the walls of your arteries, preventing the muscles from tightening and your arteries from narrowing. Aliskiren works by reducing the ability of renin to begin this process. Due to a risk of serious complications, including stroke, you shouldn’t take aliskiren with ACE inhibitors or ARBs.