There are a few things that most all humans do every single day of their lives.
Some of those things are naturally occurring procedures such as blinking and breathing. These are the easiest to accomplish, right?
Then there are those that are important to your health, but they require personal action in order for them to happen…such as brushing your teeth, eating healthy meals, sleeping 8 hours at night, and exercising regularly.
For many, some of these daily duties are a bit easier to attend to than others.
But if you are concerned about your blood pressure, there’s one other thing that you should be doing every single day.
If you have hypertension, keeping track of your blood pressure readings is a very important step in helping you take control of your health. And the good news is, the first step to lowering your blood pressure is the easiest!
Taking care of your health is a personal responsibility.
Being smart about what you eat, maintaining a healthy weight, and taking charge of things can make a huge difference when it comes to losing weight, lowering blood pressure and decreasing the risk for serious medical problems.
But even while we know ‘what’s best for us’, we often drop the ball on following through with a few of those things. Experts agree that by creating good habits (and replacing bad habits), we can increase our chances of success in reaching our health goals and most importantly maintaining good health.
For those with hypertension, getting blood pressure readings within a healthy range should be at the top of the ‘health goals’ list.
And researchers are now reporting that there’s one simple thing that hypertensive patients can do to reduce their blood pressure numbers…monitor their own blood pressure.
While this seems somewhat overly simplistic, studies indicate that in comparison to those who do not monitor their blood pressure at home, those who do self-monitor appear to have lower numbers.
So what’s the difference? Some believe that just by taking ownership can make all the difference for some individuals.
While self-monitoring shows to be beneficial to some degree to just about anyone, it may be particularly helpful for those who might be struggling to keep their blood pressure under control.
4 MAJOR BENEFITS FOR SELF-MONITORING YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE:
VIRTUALLY IMMEDIATE RESULTS: By daily monitoring your progress, you can see the results of your actions almost immediately.
So for example, let’s say you’ve overindulged in a sodium-rich meal…or you’ve spent a few minutes exercising…
…or perhaps you’ve come home from work stressed out… or maybe you’ve decided to spend time just relaxing instead…
…regardless of your activities, you’ll be able to see for yourself that your blood pressure readings are going to indicate the consequences of your choices and actions.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that if your daily habits are good, then lower blood pressure readings can give you the feeling of instant gratification.
When you see the encouraging results, you’ll feel proud of yourself for sticking to your positive changes. And most importantly you’ll feel happy because you’ll also feel better!
But if you’re struggling to keep your blood pressure under control, these daily reminders of your elevated blood pressure readings may be your signal that your bad habits need a major overhaul, and the time is now.
AWARENESS AND ACCOUNTABILITY: The act of measuring your blood pressure at home on a daily basis puts you in a position of being aware of how your actions and habits have a direct impact on the level of your blood pressure at any given time.
So just by tracking these results each day and being aware of the “cause and effect” relationship between your choices and your blood pressure, many are able to make positive changes and replace bad habits on their own.
But for many of us, a good dose of obligation is necessary to follow-through in replacing bad habits and creating good ones.
According to a study review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, self-measured blood pressure monitoring, both with and without additional support resources, has shown to lower blood pressure levels in those tested.
However, research experts concluded that for those with the benefit of additional support achieved even greater results.
ANXIETY RELIEF: Many patients, hypertensive or not, exhibit a certain level of anxiety during doctor visits, commonly termed “white coat syndrome”.
But for those who already have high blood pressure, anxiety-induced blood pressure certainly doesn’t make things any easier. But having the ability to measure your blood pressure in the comfort of your own home can help alleviate the unnecessary stress involved in going to the doctors office.
Additionally, by keeping track of your readings, you can provide your doctor with more accurate information, based upon your daily BP levels, relative to your current activities. This can give your doctor a better overall picture of how well you are managing your blood pressure, and whether any adjustments in your treatment plan are necessary.
MONEY IN YOUR POCKET: When purchasing a blood pressure monitor to use at home, it’s important to be sure and get one that is best suited to your personal needs. Most importantly, you want one that fits, is easy to use, and obviously accurate.
That said, when you go shopping, you’ll find that there are a variety of sizes, types and options. The prices range on average is ~$40, but there are more expensive models that offer more bells and whistles.
But compared to the cost of multiple doctors visits, not to mention potential loss of pay for time off work, added costs for travel, parking, etc… ~$40 doesn’t sound too bad in comparison. And by practically eliminating the stress and hassle involved with each trip, the cost of purchasing a monitor for home use seems like a bargain you can’t pass up!