Keeping track of your blood pressure at home
Updated: May 2020
Social distancing might mean missing your regular GP check-up but it’s easy to start self-monitoring your blood pressure from home.
In light of the social distancing measures in place, many of us are adapting to life at home. Staying at home will mean most people are also not able to rely on their GP’s for their regular check-ups, especially for regular blood pressure monitoring.
So, we need intuitive tools to stay on top of our cardiovascular health while we isolate at home during this pandemic.
Your blood pressure changes throughout the day
It’s perfectly normal for your blood pressure to go up and down during the course of the day, and from one day to the next. As you monitor your blood pressure at home, you’ll see that you get different readings depending on the time of day or what you’ve been doing.
By regularly checking your blood pressure you can start to understand how different things have an impact on your body.
Why does blood pressure change?
Stress and anxiety
Your body’s response to stress is to release adrenaline and other hormones that causes your heart to beat faster and your blood pressure to increase. This is all part of our natural programming for a fight-or-flight response.
Your blood pressure will increase after exercise. Normally your systolic blood pressure (the higher of your two readings, taken when your heart is pumping blood through your body) increases more following exercise. This is because your muscles need more oxygen, so your heart must work harder to deliver it.
But your blood pressure should decrease to your more regular range a short while after finishing exercise. Overall exercise is a natural stress reliever and is good for you even if you already have hypertension.
Things like hot baths and saunas may cause a temporary decrease in blood pressure. This is because your blood vessels dilate in an attempt to regulate your body temperature. If you feel dizzy or faint, move to a cooler place as quickly (and carefully) as possible.
Regular blood pressure monitoring helps you to make better health choices
By identifying and being aware of the contributing factors that might cause your blood pressure to raise can help you understand how your lifestyle may impact your blood pressure. Using the built-in feature My Journal on the OMRON connect app as an example you can identify these factors and make appropriate lifestyle changes where needed.