2017 brought new blood pressure guidelines from the American Heart Association. The numbers for hypertension stage one have lowered to 130/80. The idea is to get a jump on hypertension before it does too much damage, to address high blood pressure at a earlier stage.
High blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other serious life threatening illnesses. Knowing your blood pressure is extremely important. Having an at-home blood pressure device is a good way to monitor your blood pressure. Here are some tips for choosing and using your monitor from the American Heart Association.
Select a monitor that goes around your upper arm. Wrist and finger monitors are not as precise.
Select an automated monitor, which has a cuff that inflates itself.
Look for a digital readout that is large and bright enough to see clearly.
Consider a monitor that also plugs into your smartphone to transfer the readings to an app, which then creates a graph of your progress. Some devices can send readings wirelessly to your phone.
Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages 30 minutes beforehand.
Sit quietly for five minutes with your back supported and your legs uncrossed.
Support your arm so your elbow is at or near heart level.
Wrap the cuff over bare skin.
Don't talk during the measurement.
Leave the deflated cuff in place, wait a minute, then take a second reading. If the readings are close, average them. If not, repeat again and average the three readings.
Keep a record of your blood pressure readings, including the time of day.
Empty your bladder before your reading.