Take a Blood Pressure Reading
For most people taking a blood pressure reading is something that a doctor does. If you are older you may remember seeing a seat and cuff in a CVS or Walgreeens, it was a fun toy as a kid while waiting in line. These days taking a reading is easy to do at home. You don’t need to have a stethoscope or any real understanding of what blood pressure is. Many simple cuffs pump themselves up and display the reading on a simple screen so you can mark it down. Even easier are connected blood pressure cuffs that automatically update your reading to you phone or can share directly with a doctor.
Similar to most of the other tracked metrics we can track, individual readings are only moderately important. Drink a coffee, go on a run, and suddenly see a snake? Yeah you’re blood pressure is likely to be much higher than if you wake up casually and take it before even sitting up. Less severe actions, climbing stairs, crossing you legs while taking a reading, even holding a conversation while monitoring can all make a difference. This is why it’s important to take readings in a similar environment and monitor the trend over the longer term. If you are looking to lower your blood pressure, eating better, getting some cardio, sleeping well, and otherwise reducing stress can hopefully lead to a trend that looks like the below picture. This is a summary of 8 months of readings, taken weekly, while making lifestyle changes to help.