What Are The Benefits Of Using a Blood Pressure Monitor?
We all know how important our health is. We also know that one of the best ways to maintain our health is to keep track of our blood pressure. But how often should we use a blood pressure monitor?
The answer to this question may surprise you. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people with high blood pressure, or hypertension, use a home blood pressure monitor at least once a day. That’s right, once a day.
Why the AHA recommends this
The AHA’s recommendations are based on several studies that have shown that people with hypertension who monitor their blood pressure at home can lower their systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) by an average of 11.4 mm Hg and their diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a blood pressure reading) by an average of 5.5 mm Hg.
Other benefits of home blood pressure monitoring
In addition to lowering blood pressure, home blood pressure monitoring has other benefits.
For example, home monitoring can:
Help you detect early signs of hypertension
motivate you to make lifestyle changes, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet, that can lower your blood pressure
teach you how your diet, exercise, medications, and other factors affect your blood pressure
help you and your doctor find the right dose of your blood pressure medications
provide peace of mind by letting you know that your blood pressure is under control
How to use a home blood pressure monitor
If you have hypertension or are at risk for it, talk to your doctor about using a home blood pressure monitor. Your doctor can help you choose the right type of monitor for you and can give you instructions on how to use it.
Here are some tips for using a home blood pressure monitor:
Choose a quiet place to take your blood pressure. A place where you can sit down and relax for a few minutes before taking your blood pressure.
Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your arm resting on a table or other flat surface.
Wrap the blood pressure cuff around your bare upper arm. The cuff should be at about the same level as your heart.
If you are taking your own blood pressure, follow the instructions that came with your blood pressure monitor.
If someone else is taking your blood pressure, sit still and breathe normally until your blood pressure reading is complete.
Take your blood pressure at the same time each day. This will help you spot any patterns in your blood pressure.
What to do with your blood pressure readings
Keep a log of your blood pressure readings. Share your blood pressure readings and your log with your doctor at your next appointment.