You’ve just been diagnosed with high blood pressure, and being proactive about your health has now taken top priority in your life. However, you still have no idea how to manage your blood pressure on your own.
Understanding and monitoring your blood pressure is a daily living activity. A high blood pressure reading could indicate you are at risk for a heart attack, stroke or other health risks.
Why is it so important?
Because high blood pressure puts extra strain on your heart and arteries, that strain over time can damage your arteries.They’ll become weaker and less flexible, and damaged arteries restrict the blood flow to your heart, which in turn, can cause a major health risk.
Taking Daily Blood Pressure Readings
Taking a daily reading of your blood pressure and sharing the readings with your doctor can provide you both with the necessary information to successfully manage your health and mitigate a catasthropic life event.
How to Select a Blood Pressure Monitor
At home blood pressure monitors come in many different sizes — some require a battery to operate while others can be plugged into an electrical outlet. Some are travel sizes and others have built in monitors to track up to 300+ readings. Find a blood pressure monitor that matches the needs of your life. If you travel a lot, a monitor that is compact and stores your readings may be the perfect one for you.
After you select a monitor, consider
these tips to effectively manage your
blood pressure at home:
Don’t smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise within 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure.
Sit with your back straight and supported (on a dining chair, rather than a sofa). Your feet should be flat on the floor, and your legs should not be crossed. Support your arm on a flat, even surface, such as a table. The upper arm should be at heart level, and the middle of the cuff should be placed directly above the crease of the elbow. Follow your monitor’s directions and illustrations, and if extra help is needed, take your monitor to your doctor or healthcare provider for additional instruction.
Measure at the same time every day.
It’s important to take the readings at the same time each day, such as morning and evening, and consult your doctor for their input and recommendations as well.
Take multiple readings and record the results.
Each time you take a reading, it’s best to take two or three readings about one minute apart. Always record the results in a notebook or online tracker. And bring the diary of readings to each doctors appointment.
This new routine may take time to get used to; however, being proactive about your health is an important step to living a happy, active and healthy life.
Consult with your doctor before you begin this new daily routine.