What is Blood Pressure?


By Jeff Tsai

Clinical Physiologist

Blood Pressure (BP) is a measurement of the force applied to the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your body.                        

It is typically recorded as two numbers, written as a ratio:  120 / 80 mm Hg. The first number is your Systolic BP, which is the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.  The second number is your Diastolic BP, which is the pressure when your heart is at rest, in between beats

This chart reflects BP categories as defined by the American Heart Association.

Blood Pressure Chart AHABlood Pressure Chart AHABlood Pressure Chart AHABlood Pressure Chart AHABlood Pressure Chart AHABP WHD

A single high reading (≥140/90) does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure.  BP can fluctuate minute to minute with changes in posture, stress levels, exercise, and food choices.  Multiple measurements on separate days and at different times are recommended to make a diagnosis.                         

Here are a few healthy tips to help you manage your blood pressure:                 

   Aerobic exercise: 30 minutes/day, 3-5 times/week

   Maintain a healthy weight (BMI≤25)

   Reduce the amount of salt in your diet (≤ 2300 mg/day)

   Limit your alcohol consumption to ≤ 2 drinks/day

   Regularly sleep ≥ 6 hours/night

   Avoid tobacco products and exposure to secondhand smoke

Source(s): American Heart Association, American College of Sports Medicine


As a lifelong fitness enthusiast, Jeff believes in the connection between mind, body, and spirit and achieving a healthy balance through an active lifestyle.  He enjoys exploring new destinations with his wife, training in mixed martial arts, and running in competitive-timed road races. 

Jeff implements exercise programs and conducts wellness assessments as a fitness specialist.  As an   exercise physiologist, he performs health screenings and counsels clients on how to meet their fitness goals through personalized nutrition and physical   activity plans.  In both roles, he receives great satisfaction from helping others enrich their life through exercise!

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