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Health Tip: Check Blood Pressure at Home

-- Blood pressure can change frequently based on recent exercise, foods you've eaten, or changes in stress levels.

Here are suggestions for monitoring your blood pressure at home, courtesy of the American Heart Association:

  • Take a measurement of your upper arm, and buy a blood pressure cuff that's the right size.
  • At least 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure, avoid smoking, caffeine and exercise.
  • Sit in the proper position, with your back straight and supported, and your feet flat on the floor. Place your lower arm on a flat surface with your upper arm at the level of your heart.
  • Read the instructions on how to apply and use the cuff. Or ask your doctor to show you how.
  • Take two to three readings at the same time each day, and wait at least one minute between readings. Always record all results.
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Posted: June 2008