The Truth About Your Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

As blood flows through your entire body, it is important to understand the health of your heart. This begins with a clear understanding of two important factors that impact your heart. Both blood pressure and heart rate are related, but are entirely different in significant ways. Let’s learn the difference between the two.

Understanding the difference between blood pressure and heart rate

Blood pressure is the force by which blood flows through your arteries and veins. But your heart rate, which is also called “pulse,” shows how many times your heart beats each minute. Both are different and show different aspects of your heart’s health, and both are vitally important.

As you already know, the measurement of your blood pressure is taken with a device that has a cuff which wraps around your arm. The pressure is measured with two numbers. You’ve heard the measurements such as “120 over 80” or its variation of numbers. The first number is called Systolic, which is the pressure at which your hearts pumps into the arteries. The second number is called Diastolic and measures the pressure of the blood as your heart relaxes and gets ready for the next beat or pump. A rate of 120/80 mm Hg is the ideal blood pressure, which is different from the heart rate.

What effect do activities have on your heart rate?

The heart rate for a healthy adult is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Your heart rate continues to fluctuate throughout the day and will never be constant. When you exercise or walk fast, your heart rate will increase. But when you are resting or sleeping, it will go down to the lower numbers as less blood flow is required, and your blood pressure also subsides.

If you have any concerns about your heart rate and blood pressure, be sure to check with your doctor. The common guideline is to maintain your blood pressure close to 120/80 and the heart rate at 60 to 100 beats a minute. Your entire body is so interconnected that when one area is affected, all other areas are at risk. High blood pressure poses more of a threat to your health than a high heart rate. As your blood pressure increases, the risk of heart attack, stroke, or heart failure, including kidney trouble goes up. When the heart rate goes up, that can also be a sign of danger, but the greater danger is with an increase of blood pressure.

It is a misunderstanding to think that your blood pressure increases as your heart rate increases. The American Heart association advises that when blood vessels are healthy, they permit the blood to flow easily. Thus the heart may pump faster, but as your blood flows easily, the pressure doesn’t necessarily increase. A good example of this is during the time of exercise. Your heart rate will increase due to the extra activity of your muscles. But your blood pressure may only increase slightly in a healthy individual. In all this, we need to know the importance of balancing both your heart rate and the blood pressure for a healthy heart.

Keeping a healthy balance between your blood pressure and heart rate

Keeping your heart rate and blood pressure in a healthy range can be a challenge for some, but there are some important steps you can take. As you remain diligent with these steps, you will be on your way to a healthier heart. Here are some important steps to take to stay healthy with your heart rate and blood pressure:

1. Maintain your weight. For a healthy heart with a good blood pressure, this is vital. The measurement of your body mass index at a healthy level will do much for your overall health

2. Maintain a healthy diet. Develop healthy eating habits with more fruits and vegetables. Use low fat dairy products and protein that’s lean. Minimize the intake of processed food and saturated fat. And of course, make sure to reduce sugar intake as well.

3. Do regular exercise. At least three times per week, exercise for 40 minutes. A regular habit of brisk walking can do much for your heart rate and blood pressure.

4. Limit sodium. The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 1,500 mg per day. For those who have high blood pressure, this limit must be strictly observed.

Home devices to monitor blood pressure and heart rate

Your health must be a priority for you. If you are young and healthy, go ahead and enjoy life without fear, but develop the healthy habits listed above. Make that a priority for your future health.Lastly , If you have concerns about your blood pressure and heart rate, there are devices that you can use to monitor them at home, such as fitness trackers and heart rate monitors; armed with the information that these devices  can give you, you  and your doctor can get ahead of any issues before they become serious.