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How high is too high where your blood pressure is concerned? Is a blood pressure reading of 135 over 85 healthy, or a cause for alarm? What constitutes good numbers and bad? Are healthy blood pressure readings the same for young and old, male and female, active and sedentary individuals? And how frequently should you be checking your blood pressure anyway?

Those are all great questions, which reflect a desire on your part to take control of your heart health. Basically put, if your blood pressure frequently tests at 140 over 90 week after week, you could suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension). And if either the top or bottom number is too high for an extended period of time, you may be a higher blood pressure candidate as well.

Left untreated, this could lead to heart attack, stroke, heart and kidney diseases and even some forms of brain damage or dementia. Just remember that everyone is different. This is why you should have your blood pressure checked at least once a year if you enjoy a healthy level, and much more frequently if you know your numbers are out of line.

A doctor or licensed health professional is the only one who can tell you for certain if you have a low or high blood pressure problem. But as long as you stay in the following guidelines, in most cases, your blood pressure level is probably fine.

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When your systolic (top number) is between around 90 and 120, you are right where you need to be. The same can be said if your diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure reading is between 60 and 80. Numbers below those indicate low blood pressure, and greater numbers than those are signs of possible high blood pressure problems.

There are all kinds of individual issues and factors which can cause your personal blood pressure to spike or drop over the short and long-term. For quick reference, type the term “blood pressure chart” into your Internet search engine. There are plenty of free downloadable charts which allow you to quickly diagnose if your blood pressure is in a healthy or unhealthy range.

Home blood pressure testing kits are readily available online and are budget friendly. In most modern countries around the world, pharmacies and even some supermarkets offer free blood pressure testing. The first step toward figuring out if your blood pressure is too high is to consult your doctor or health professional.

High or low, 2 to 3 hours of moderately intense exercise each week, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, drinking lots of water and getting plenty of rest can all help return your blood pressure to a healthy level.