Have you just got yourself a new blood pressure monitor? Maybe you want to make sure your levels are low so that you’re sure you’re living a healthy life. For many people, blood pressure issues are quite common. More common than you might think. And for a long time, you might not even be able to see any symptoms. That’s why sometimes, a blood pressure monitor might be a good purchase. Yes, you can still get your pressure checked at your local doctor’s surgery—but this isn’t always convenient.
So if you’ve decided to buy your own blood pressure monitor, you’ve made a good choice. Now you can have the peace of mind to know that you can check your blood pressure at any time.
Sometimes blood pressure monitors don’t work when you visit the nurse or doctor to get it checked because you’re simply too nervous at the time. After all, waiting in the waiting room and then getting a procedure done on you is quite a nerve-wracking time. But it needn’t be. if you purchase (or borrow) your own blood pressure monitor, you can use it whenever you want. That means you can get a more authentic blood pressure reading when you’re NOT nervous. So if you want to know how to use a blood pressure monitor let’s have a look….
Purchase your blood pressure monitor
Before you can start using your blood pressure monitor, you need to buy one! These are easily available, either from your local chemists/pharmacy or online. There are actually a number of different options, and you can pay as little or as much as you want. Some of the more expensive blood pressure monitors have a range of different options like memory functions. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to talk about automatic blood pressure monitors that inflate by themselves electronically. Traditionally, you can purchase manual pumping blood pressure monitors, but these are much harder to use. And with automatic ones so affordable these days, they are easily the best option.
Unpack the monitor and check the instructions
When you first unpack the monitor you might have to assemble it. Follow the instructions to do this. Make sure you’ve checked any safety information and followed it carefully as well. Blood pressure monitors like this are only intended for certain healthy people, so check with your doctor if you’re unsure whether you can use one. Check the other limitations and recommendations that come with the unit, as well as any important safety information before you proceed.
Make sure the battery is charged
Your automatic blood pressure monitor will need a full battery charge. Make sure you’ve got new batteries or fully charged ones. These might come with the monitor depending on the unit you chose.
Make sure you’re relaxed
You shouldn’t really use a blood pressure monitor just after you’ve done any heavy activity or if you aren’t generally relaxed. Sit down and stay seated for a few minutes before taking a blood pressure reading, otherwise you could get results that aren’t accurate or realistically representative of your resting blood pressure. Everyone has higher blood pressure when they’re nervous or if they’ve just been exerting themselves (like working out or doing exercise). The figure it’s important to know is your resting blood pressure, and to get that—you need to be relaxed.
Strap the blood pressure monitor around your upper arm
Have your upper arm to your side and your elbow bent with your palm facing outwards. Remain as relaxed as possible and strap the extension to your upper arm, in between your elbow bend and shoulder, but not touching either.
Make sure you have plenty of space
Don’t try and take a blood pressure reading when you’re cramped or in an uncomfortable position.
Keep relaxed and activate the unit
Remember to stay relaxed at all times, even when the unit is pumping. This can make some people nervous, especially as the unit tightens, but don’t be! Press the button on the unit to start taking the reading. Wait until it has gone through all the processes and taken the readings it needs to.
Make a note of the readings
If you haven’t got a unit that records the readings itself, then write them down to record them. make a note of both figures as they relate to different parts of a blood pressure reading.
Look up the readings
Once you’ve got your blood pressure reading, you can look up the results to see how healthy or unhealthy you might be. If your blood pressure is really high, you should visit the doctor as soon as possible. For a slightly high reading, you can make lifestyle changes to help try and reduce it yourself without relying on medication. Always consult your doctor just in case, but they might recommend lifestyle changes before medication in some circumstances. Take a reading every couple of days to get an average over a week or so, in case it was particularly high or low the first time for some reason.
How to make changes if your blood pressure is too high
Here are a few lifestyle changes you can make which could help:
Drink less alcohol
Alcohol is one of the biggest contributors to high blood pressure around. Ease off the drink to try and reduce it.
Eat less processed meat and salt
The meat curing process might create tasty produce, but it’s got a lot of chemicals in it. These chemicals, as well as salt, can also lead to high blood pressure. So try and eat a more healthy diet with less processed and red meat.
Another way to drop your blood pressure is to exercise and work out more. It’s healthy for you for so many other reasons, too. Try walking more every day and keeping fit, and you could see your rates drop.