High blood pressure

Use the three steps below to begin your journey to Best Health.

1. Know this

Blood pressure is a measure of how hard the blood pushes against the walls of your arteries. It is recorded as two numbers: systolic blood pressure, which indicates the pressure as your heart is pumping; and diastolic blood pressure, which indicates the pressure between heartbeats, when the heart is relaxed.

Adults should have a blood pressure of less than 120/80. When blood pressure is higher than 140/90, it starts to damage the blood vessels, heart, and kidneys. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is called a “silent killer,” because it doesn’t usually cause symptoms while it is causing damage.

2. Do this

Several things are known to raise blood pressure, including being very overweight, drinking too much alcohol, having a family history of high blood pressure, eating too much salt and getting older. Making lifestyle changes can help you to prevent high blood pressure. You can:

  • Stay at a healthy weight or lose extra weight.
  • Cut back on drinking. Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.
  • Eat less salt and salty foods.

3. Use this

Check out the following Best Health offerings to help you achieve a healthy blood pressure.

  • Healthy weight health coaching – Work one-on-one with a Best Health Coach.  
  • Online blood pressure log – Monitor your blood pressure levels over time.
  • Online hypertension learning module – Learn how to prevent and manage high blood pressure in this self-paced course.

Log in to best health

Author: Healthwise Staff Medical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine. Current as of: August 31, 2020