Bellevue Personal Training | 130/80: the “New” High Blood Pressure

For years the ‘norm’ for being concerned with our blood pressure has been 140/90. Last year the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association worked together to produce updated blood pressure recommendations. We now have cause for concern if our reading is 130/80! The ACC and AHA worked with 9 other organizations and 21 scientists who combed through 900 studies to produce the new guidelines.

According to the ACC this means that 46% of Americans will now be classified as having hypertension!! Having a BP of 130/80, while it is a yellow light that one needs to make some lifestyle changes, does not mean the medication is necessary. The recipe for reducing hypertension is threefold: reducing sodium to 1,500 mg (or less) a day; adding exercise, both resistance and cardiovascular; drinking plenty of water. While these three things may seem simple to some, they may seem quite overwhelming to others. I recommend starting with one concept and once you feel it has become a habit (usually takes 2-3 weeks), add a second one.

Here are the new guidelines:

  • Normal: 120/80
  • Elevated: Systolic between 120 & 129 and diastolic under 80
  • Stage 1 Hypertension: Systolic between 130 & 139 or diastolic between 80 & 89
  • Hypertensive Crisis: Systolic over 180 and/or diastolic over 120

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