We tend to think of blood pressure and heart rate as more or less the same thing. But while they are both related to heart health, they are actually two very different measurements.
So what is the difference between blood pressure and heart rate? Your blood pressure is the force of blood flowing against the walls of your arteries while your heart rate (also called pulse) is the number of times your heart beats every minute.
Blood pressure is taken using a special cuff that goes around the arm. It’s usually measured in two numbers. The top number (systolic) is the pressure as the heart beats and forces blood into the arteries. The bottom number (diastolic) is the pressure as the heart relaxes between beats. A reading of 120/80 mm Hg is considered normal.
Your heart rate, on the other hand, is measured in just one number. A normal adult resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Your heart rate is never constant. It rises when you exercise or even when you’re sick.