Ideal Blood Pressure
In most cases, an ideal blood pressure is anything under 120/80. A person's ideal blood pressure may depend on several factors, such as diet and lifestyle. Blood pressure readings can vary throughout the day due to things like tension, exercise, and nicotine use. When comparing your blood pressure to the "ideal" blood pressure, make sure to take several readings over a few days.
Blood pressure is the amount of force that blood exerts on the walls of the blood vessels as it flows through them. A majority of healthcare professionals agree that most people's ideal blood pressure would be under 120/80, although extremely low blood pressure is not healthy.
To measure your blood pressure, a fabric cuff is wrapped around your arm and then slightly inflated. The blood pressure is measured by a gauge attached to the cuff. The healthcare provider reads the numbers from the gauge as air is released from the cuff. This device that reads blood pressure is called a sphygmomanometer. Blood pressure can also be measured with a blood pressure machine.
The two numbers that measure your blood pressure are written like a fraction: one number on top and one on the bottom. For most people, an ideal blood pressure reading would be 120/80 or below.
The top number of the blood pressure reading represents the systolic pressure. It measures the pressure inside your blood vessels at the moment your heart beats. The bottom number is your diastolic pressure. It measures the pressure in your blood vessels between heartbeats.
Even ideal blood pressure will change frequently throughout the day. A person's amount of tension, posture, level of exercise, and nicotine use are just a few things that can cause blood pressure to change within just a few minutes. Given these normal fluctuations, it's easy to see why even ideal blood pressure can fluctuate within a certain range every day. With this in mind, it's best to use more than one blood pressure reading to figure out your average blood pressure.
Remember, too, that blood pressure can run high or low in families. Also, it's important to look at your overall health, lifestyle, and diet when comparing your readings to what's thought of as "ideal blood pressure." Factors such as these may cause you to have a higher or lower ideal blood pressure than what's considered normal.