What is an Ideal Blood Pressure?

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  • Written By: Keith Koons
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 10 January 2019
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Although physicians' general rule says that an ideal blood pressure is 120/80mm hg, experts are quick to point out that this figure is often misleading. When a person is fully relaxed, it is entirely possible to achieve a relatively low reading, and then a few minutes later, his blood pressure could be much, much higher. Factors like stress, diet, exercise, and even posture can play large roles in shifting an ideal blood pressure one way or the other. As people age, their blood pressure also naturally increases, so the ideal blood pressure of someone in their 60s may be 140/90mm hg, while a teenager should be closer to 117/77mm hg. Athletes in excellent physical shape and children often have an ideal blood pressure of around 90/60mm hg.


To get a true reading of blood pressure, it should be checked several times per day to generate an average. Smokers will naturally receive a reading several degrees higher for approximately 15 to 20 minutes after having a cigarette, and the same is true just after exercising, eating a big meal, or facing a stressful situation. Checking blood pressure in the mornings shortly after waking up is a place to start, and it should be checked a few more times over the course of the day while the person is in a normal, relaxed state. The average of the combined readings indicates a true blood pressure, and if it is above the ideal blood pressure range, then steps should be made to lower it.

An ideal blood pressure is actually made up of two numbers; the systolic and diastolic pressures. The first of the two readings, systolic pressure, is the maximum force that is exerted on the artery walls, and diastolic pressure is the minimum pressure that is generated. Many people mistakenly think that one of the readings is more important than the other, but in reality, they are both equally dangerous if outside of normal boundaries. As the blood pressure increases, extra force is placed on the heart, the arteries, and all of the vital organs, which can lead to heart attack or a host of other serious medical problems.

Low blood pressure is just as dangerous, and those with an accurate reading of 70/50 mm hg or lower also need to consider a lifestyle change. A systolic pressure of 60mm hg can often lead to dizziness, fainting and nausea, while 40mm hg is dangerously close to entering a comatose state. To correct both high and low blood pressures, experts recommend a balanced diet, plenty of exercise, and a solid eight hours of sleep per night. Medication is also available to help achieve an ideal blood pressure, although physicians would prefer to see the readings to be adjusted by natural means if possible.



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