(WGHP) — High blood pressure is a health concern for many adults.

Avoiding or managing it are vital steps in maintaining your health.

What is considered “normal” blood pressure?

Normal BP is <120/80. Your goal blood pressure if you have hypertension depends on other risk factors. The top number is the systolic blood pressure, and the bottom is the diastolic blood pressure. While both numbers are important, the risk of stroke and heart attack is more strongly correlated with the top number, the systolic blood pressure.

How often should I be checking my blood pressure?

If you have known hypertension-check twice a day until you’ve hit the goal number recommended by your doctor. If you don’t have hypertension, you should check at least once or twice per year.

Is high blood pressure hereditary?

Genetics can certainly contribute, especially if you develop hypertension at a young age.  However, obesity, inactivity and a diet high in salt contribute.

What are signs or symptoms of blood pressure issues?

Many people don’t notice if their blood pressure is high. It’s often called a “silent killer,” but some people are more sensitive to elevated blood pressure and may notice headaches, vision changes or fatigue.

However, people usually notice if their BP gets too low. They will likely feel very lightheaded or fatigued. It can even cause fainting spells.

How can you manage blood pressure?

  • Exercise: at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly
  • Limit sodium to <1500mg daily
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Medication will be necessary if your blood pressure is elevated even after lifestyle changes

What is the impact of not managing blood pressure?

If you don’t manage your blood pressure it raises the risk of heart attacks, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, and death.