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Systolic and diastolic sound like two ancient Greek philosophers but they are actually the two terms vital to understanding the readings you get from those your blood pressure monitors you bought from television.
• Diastolic is the amount of pressure that is exerted between heartbeats. This is the lowest point of pressure that is exerted on your arteries—it's your "at rest" reading.
• Systolic is the active reading. It's the maximum pressue exerted on your arteries and, if it's too high, it can signal prehypertension.
The American Heart Association considers a systolic reading of 120 or lower to be the healthiest and the diastolic number should be 80 or lower. Once those numbers fall between 120 and 139 over 80 through 89, it is considered prehypertension. You should also watch to see if the numbers spell prehypotension.
Use one of the health product blood pressure monitors to keep track of your systolic and diastolic numbers. You can use the cuff model or the wrist model with equal confidence.