Controlling Your Blood Pressure
One in three adults has high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Less than half have it under control. Often signs of high blood pressure are not noticed and without treatment, the chances of getting heart disease or having a stroke are higher. The best way to protect your heart is to know your numbers and take action to control your blood pressure. Please take the Controlling Blood Pressure Survey.
Know Your Numbers - What do your blood pressure numbers mean?
The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked. Learn what your blood pressure numbers mean to you and your health. Take the pledge to track and lower your blood pressure!
Work with your doctor to manage high blood pressure
- Ask about your blood pressure at your yearly checkup. If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about steps to take to control of your blood pressure to lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Check it often between appointments either at home or at a pharmacy with a blood pressure device.
- Track your blood pressure readings. Keep a log of your blood pressure levels (PDF) and questions to ask your doctor (PDF).
Self-Monitor Your Blood Pressure Often
Learn how to correctly check your blood pressure at home to help keep you in a healthy range. Remember to follow the advice of your doctor or other health care professional.
Helpful Tips to Self Check Your Blood Pressure
- Be still. Don't smoke, drink liquids with caffeine or exercise within 30 minutes before checking your blood pressure. Empty your bladder and ensure at least 5 minutes of quiet rest before taking your blood pressure again.
- Sit correctly. Sit with your back straight and on a chair that gives you support (like a dining chair, rather than a sofa). Place your feet flat on the floor and do not cross your legs.
- 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.
- Take some readings and record the results. Each time you measure, take at least two readings one minute apart and record blood pressure levels. If your monitor has built-in memory to store your readings, take it with you to your appointments.
- Work together with your doctor to manage your blood pressure. Share results of BP log at your next visit or speak to someone at your doctor’s office about your results in a timely manner.
Lifestyle Changes You Can Make To Manage Your Blood Pressure
- Stay active
- Eat a healthy diet that’s low in salt
- Manage stress
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit alcohol
- Quit smoking
- Take your medications on time
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