The AHA Recommendation for Healthy Blood Pressure
This chart reflects blood pressure categories defined by the American Heart Association.
mm Hg (upper #)
mm Hg (lower #)
||less than 120||and||less than 80|
|Prehypertension||120 – 139||or||80 – 89|
|High Blood Pressure
(Hypertension) Stage 1
|140 – 159||or||90 – 99|
|High Blood Pressure
(Hypertension) Stage 2
|160 or higher||or||100 or higher|
(Emergency care needed)
|Higher than 180||or||Higher than 110|
2. Learn and Monitor Blood Pressure Levels
- To find out if we have high blood pressure, we should have our blood pressure tested by a healthcare professional.
- The American Heart Association recommends home monitoring for those of us with high blood pressure to help healthcare providers determine whether treatments are working.
- We can track blood pressure and our efforts to control it online with Heart360. We can even get text reminders and upload readings from a mobile device.
Setting realistic goals and making slow changes over time are the best ways to set ourselves up for success, feel our best and live a healthy life.
- Eat Better. The D.A.S.H. plan is proven effective for lowering blood pressure. Some prefer to educate themselves and practice principles for targeted nutrition improvement.
- Get Active. Physical activity not only helps control our blood pressure, it also helps us manage our weight, strengthen our heart and manage our stress level.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If we are overweight, losing as little as five to ten pounds may help lower our blood pressure.
- Take medication as directed. Following our healthcare provider's advice is the best way to reach our treatment goals and enjoy the benefits of better health.
- Quit Smoking. While smoking has not been conclusively proven to cause high blood pressure, each cigarette we smoke temporarily increases our blood pressure for many minutes after it is finished.
- Learn the Salty Six. Keep an eye on the amount of sodium you’re eating each day by learning the Salty Six - common foods loaded with excess sodium.
View an image of the Manage Blood Pressure with Life's Simple 7® Infographic.