What should I look for in a blood pressure reading?
A quality blood pressure monitor measures both systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure means the pressure in your blood vessels while your heart is beating, whereas diastolic pressure means the pressure in your blood vessels while your heart rests in between heartbeats.
The American Heart Association’s blood pressure guidelines list a normal blood pressure as having a systolic reading of less than 120 mm Hg and a diastolic reading of less than 80 mm Hg. Blood pressure ranges higher than 120/80 mm Hg are considered higher than healthy, and should be discussed with a doctor.
Below is a blood pressure chart, which contains the five ranges of blood pressure numbers as recognized by the AHA: