Keeping your blood pressure in check is key to maintaining heart health and preventing stroke, but the way most of us monitor our pressure isn’t ideal.
To measure the blood pressure at home, the first thing you need is a blood pressure cuff. Get a cuff that inflates automatically around your upper arm and shows the results on a large, easy-to-read display.
The following are the correct steps to measure your blood pressure:
- Sit at a table with your arm resting comfortably on it and your feet flat on the floor.
- Secure the blood pressure cuff snugly but not tightly around your bare upper arm.
- Rest your arm on the table in a relaxed posture, with the cuff at the same level as your heart.
- Relax for a minute or two and then take the first reading.
- Wait for at least two minutes, and then take another reading.
Do this in the morning and evening for three or four days and average the upper (systolic) and lower (diastolic) readings separately. Make sure to take the cuff to your next medical appointment to compare its accuracy to the office equipment. It may be somewhat lower or higher than the in-office measurement.
Check with your doctor about how often you need to check your blood pressure, and follow the above steps each time you measure.
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