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How you can track your blood pressure

how you can track your blood pressureKeeping an eye on your blood pressure can help you keep it at normal levels and avoid certain diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), uncontrolled high blood pressure is common among adults in the United States. There are often no symptoms for high blood pressure, so measuring your blood pressure is the best way to know if you’re at risk.

What is high blood pressure? 

High blood pressure happens when you have higher-than-normal blood pressure throughout the day. Blood pressure readings will measure your systolic blood pressure (upper number) and your diastolic blood pressure (lower number). As your systolic blood pressure increases, your heart works harder. As your diastolic blood pressure increases, there is more stress on your heart in between beats.

How can I track my blood pressure?

You can measure your blood pressure using a blood pressure cuff. There are often blood pressure cuffs available to use at your doctor's office or pharmacy. You can also purchase a blood pressure cuff to keep at home. Record your blood pressure readings and take them to all your appointments, as well as a list of the current medications you’re taking. Sharing this information with your providers and care partners will help ensure your care team has your most recent health information.

Here is a chart from the American Heart Association to help you understand your blood pressure readings.

Blood pressure category Systolic mm Hg
(upper number)
and/or Diastolic mm Hg
(lower number)
Normal Less than 120 and Less than 80
Elevated 120-129 and Less than 80
High blood pressure
(stage 1)
130-139 or 80-89
High blood pressure
(stage 2)
140 or higher or 90 or higher
Hypertensive crisis
(talk to your doctor immediately)
Higher than 180 and/or Higher than 120

Please note: If you get an elevated or high blood pressure reading, check with your doctor to get a diagnosis. Low blood pressure readings should also be reviewed by a doctor.

How can I prevent high blood pressure?

Creating healthy habits can help you prevent high blood pressure. The CDC recommends these tips to help prevent high blood pressure:

Eat well-balanced meals

A heart-healthy diet that is high in vitamins, minerals and fiber can help lower blood pressure and improve other areas of your health. Eating foods that are lower in sodium and saturated fats can also help.

Exercise regularly

At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day, five days a week can help lower high blood pressure. Moderate-intensity exercise includes walking, jogging, cycling or swimming.

Limit alcohol or don’t drink

Men should have no more than two alcoholic drinks per day and women no more than one per day.

Stop smoking

Smoking raises your blood pressure and can put strain on your heart and lungs.

Get proper sleep

Make sure to get good quality sleep. Adults should try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Try to get on a regular sleep schedule where you wake up and go to bed at the same time each day.

Talk to your doctor

There are many things that can affect your blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about high blood pressure and how you can prevent or manage it. Your doctor can help you to make a plan to get your readings in a normal range.

Don’t have a doctor? You can find one by using our Find Care tool or on our member app by selecting Find Care. Make sure you are logged in so you only see providers in your network.


Published: May 3, 2023