• Thomas Bailey Thomas Bailey
    June 08, 2008
    How often should I check my blood pressure?
    Thomas Bailey Thomas Bailey
    June 08, 2008

    Some days I check once, some days 2-3 times, occasionally 4-5 times in one day. I often check my blood pressure during long bike rides. I have been recording my blood pressure since 1988.

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FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • Lisa Nelson
    Health Pro
    June 08, 2008
    Lisa Nelson
    Health Pro
    June 08, 2008

    Hi Thomas,

     

    It is great that you have been monitoring your blood pressure for some time.  Staying on top of your numbers means you can correct any negative changes immediately.  So, great job!

     

    Blood pressure should be checked every two years after the age of 21, annual checks after age 50, more frequent checks if you have risk factors.  Luckily it is fast, easy, and painless.

     

    Risk Factors Include:

     

    Age - Men >45 yo, Women after menopause

     

    Gender - Women taking birth control pills or pregnant or after menopause

     

    Race - African-American

    Family history - parent or close blood relative diagnosed with high blood pressure

     

    Excess weight - BMI ≥30.0

     

    Inactive

     

    Smoker

     

    Stressed - turn to alcohol, cigarettes, food to cope

     

    High Sodium Intake

     

    Low Potassium Intake

     

    Medications - speak with you MD if you take any medications

     

    It is easiest to treat high blood pressure if you catch the gradual increase early on.  If you have a family history of heart disease or stroke, all the more reason to pay attention.

     

    Ideally, monitor your blood pressure at the same time everyday. 

     

    Blood pressure rises during most activities.  You should expect a higher blood pressure during a long bike ride.  If your heart is in great condition, it may be a slight increase.

     

    From the information I have, I would say you are monitoring your blood pressure more than necessary.  Consult with your MD to determine times of day that would be best.  Possibly once in the morning and once at night.  If you are on blood pressure medications or recently changed prescriptions/dose, more frequent monitoring is warranted. 

     

    Check out this article - Home Blood Pressure Monitoring Recommended - for more information.  The article recommends consulting with your MD to determine best time of day for you to monitor your bp.  It also states daily monitoring is not needed, but several times a week is good.

     

    Two additional articles you may be interested in:

     

    Exercise can lower blood pressure

     

    Low blood pressure after exercise

     

    All the best,

     

    Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

    Lower Cholesterol, Control Blood Pressure, Lose Weight

    • Thomas Bailey
      May 17, 2009
      Thomas Bailey
      May 17, 2009

      I have two risk factors. My BMI is about 35. My mother and grandmother, both dead, had hypertension. My younger brother has hypertension and is being treated for it. He checks his BP daily, and has done so for about a year. I taught him how to do it.

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