Keeping track of your blood pressure levels is necessary for everyone, no matter your condition. Learn how to take blood pressure at home and understand your readings.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the leading factors in cardiovascular disease. It’s important for people with hypertension to regularly keep track of their levels, but it’s also important for people with healthy levels.
As the saying goes, “prevention is better than the cure,” which is why you need to keep track of your blood pressure before it gets to hypertension levels. The first step is buying a home blood pressure monitor. Nowadays, they are fairly inexpensive and are easily accessible.
Moreover, many pharmacies or grocery stores with pharmacies have blood pressure monitors at the store for everyone to use. Whether you decide to get your own home monitor, go to the pharmacy or have regular checkups with your doctor, follow these guidelines when measuring your blood pressure.
Stay Still and Prepare
You can’t just take your blood pressure willy-nilly and expect to get an accurate result. Before measuring your levels, empty your bladder and relax for five minutes before getting a reading.
Don’t drink caffeinated beverages, smoke or exercise within 30 minutes of measuring your levels. Also, be still while measure your blood pressure; don’t move around or talk.
Practice Proper Posture
When you measure you blood pressure, sit with your back straight and make sure it’s against a supported surface like a chair instead of a sofa. Do not cross your legs and make sure your feet are flat on the floor.
Keep your arm on a flat surface and the upper part of your arm at heart level. When placing the monitor cuff, ensure that it is directly above the elbow bend.
If you want accurate results and an accurate reading of how your blood pressure levels are on average, take the measurements at the same time each day.
Measuring blood pressure daily is ideal. However, if you have a change in treatment, start to weeks after the change; also take them daily the week before a doctor’s appointment.
Take Multiple Readings
Only taking one reading won’t give an accurate picture of how your blood pressure levels are on average. Instead, take multiple readings and keep track of the results.
It’s best to take about two to three readings, with each reading being one minute apart. You can record the results on a notebook, a printable PDF provided by the American Heart Association, or an online tracker.
Moreover, some monitors have the ability to upload the readings to a secure website.
Lastly, do not take the measurement over clothes. Simply pull your sleeve up if necessary or wear attire that will easily let you place the monitor cuff, touching the skin of your upper arm.
What Can I Do About Hypertension?
High blood pressure affects millions of people in the U.S. and around the world. The American Heart Association provides a chart that explains blood pressure readings and what they mean.
The readings are as follows:
- Normal: less than 120/80 mm Hg
- Elevated: 120/80-129/80 mm Hg
- Hypertension Stage 1: 130/80-139/89 mm Hg
- Hypertension Stage 2: 140/90 mm Hg
- Hypertensive Crisis: 180/120 mm Hg
The best things to do to lower blood pressure levels, whether you have healthy levels or have hypertension, is to eat healthier and exercise regularly. Another thing you can do is take health supplements that can improve your heart and circulation health, like L-arginine Plus.
L-arginine Plus is a powder supplement that you can take daily and will improve your overall cholesterol, blood flow, energy levels, and heart health. It contains the right amount of l-arginine and l-citrulline, which work together to improve nitric oxide levels.
Nitric oxide is a natural compound that dilates blood vessels and improves overall blood, making L-arginine Plus both safe and effective. Talk to your doctor about adding L-arginine Plus to your routine if you want to enhance your circulation and naturally improve your heart health.