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What is considered normal blood pressure and what do the numbers in the reading mean?

Ideally, we should all have a blood pressure below 120 over 80 (120/80). This is the ideal blood pressure for people wishing to have good health. At this level, we have a much lower risk of heart disease or stroke.

Every blood pressure reading consists of two numbers or levels. They are shown as one number on top of the other. The first (or top) number is your systolic blood pressure. It is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats. The second (or bottom) number is your diastolic blood pressure. It is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats. The higher the numbers, the more your body is put under stress.