KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
Your goal for blood pressure is less than 135 and less than 85. If you have diabetes or kidney problems, your goal is less than 130 and less than 80.
WHAT IS BLOOD PRESSURE?
Blood pressure is measured by two numbers. The first, or top number, is known as systolic blood pressure. It is the pressure when the heart squeezes to pump blood to the rest of the body. The second, or bottom number, is know as diastolic blood pressure. It occurs when the heart relaxes.
CHECK YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE NUMBERS AT HOME
Your doctor or nurse may ask you to begin taking your blood pressure at home. Doing this will help determine a more accurate blood pressure. Blood pressure numbers are usually lower at home than in the clinic. Make sure to record your readings according to your healthcare professionals instructions.
- Take your blood pressure twice a day for seven days
- Take 2-3 readings in the morning and the evening. Each reading should be 2 minutes apart
- Use a log to record your readings or print the numbers stored in your monitor
- Always take you log to show your doctor or nurse
HOW TO LOWER YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
- Exercise at a comfortable pace for 30-60 minutes a day. Remember, you can break this up into three 10-minute or two 15-minute exercise sessions per day!
- Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and go for a morning walk.
- Go for a 15-minute walk on your lunch break.
- Walk or ride bikes with family and friends after dinner.
- Join a gym or a group program.
|Why is exercise important? Exercise can help prevent heart attack and stroke by:|
EAT LESS SALT
Eating less salt is important because it can lower your blood pressure.
Salty Foods to Avoid:
REACH A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Reaching a healthy weight is important because it helps:
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower your risk for heart disease and stroke
- Increase good HDL cholesterol
- Lower bad LDL cholesterol
- Lessen pain by lowering the stress put on ankles, knees, hips, and back while exercising
- Increase your energy level
What is a healthy weight for me?
Healthcare professionals use a scale called a BMI, or body mass index, to determine if you are at a healthy weight. BMI is based on your height and weight. For good health, your BMI should be less than 25.
LEARN ABOUT YOUR MEDICINES
- Take your pills at the same time each day. Talk with your doctor or nurse about how to set up a schedule, use a pillbox, or set a timer or alarm on your watch to remind you to take them.
- Take at least 1-2 days of extra medicine with you with you travel. Bring your medicine list with you.
- If you don't feel well after taking a medicine, call your doctor or nurse. Don't just stop taking the medicine.
- Keep taking your medicines even if your blood pressure is at your goal.
- Ask your doctor or nurse about a generic blood pressure medicine to lower cost.
Blood pressure medicines work in different ways. Most medicines relax the arteries, remove extra fluid, or all allow your heart to beat easier.
MAKE A PLAN
Now is the time to make a plan. Small changes can make a big difference, so start today. Pick some things you will change. This checklist can help you get started:
- I will make changes to lower my blood pressure. This also will protect my brain, heart & kidneys.
- I will buy a blood pressure monitor and check my numbers at home.
- I will eat less salt and more fruits and vegetables.
- I will ask my doctor or nurse what exercises are safe for me.
- I will walk at least 30 minutes each day.
- I will carry a list of my medicines with me at all times.
- I will talk to my doctor or nurse before I stop taking any medicines.
Download & Print information about blood pressure
This brochure will help you to understand if you have normal, are at risk for, or have high blood pressure and what you can do to achieve normal blood pressure. It is important to prevent and treat high blood pressure because it can damage your brain, heart and blood vessels, and kidneys. It also raises your risk for stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.
Disclaimer: This and other PCNA educational materials are for information purposes only and are not intended to replace medical advice or diagnose or treat health problems. Health-related decisions should be made in partnership with a healthcare provider. It is the reader's responsibility to seek out the most current, accurate information.