1. Check your blood pressure regularly
Sure, your family doctor may be measuring your blood pressure once or twice a year—but that doesn’t mean it’s being properly monitored. After all, blood pressure should be taken when you’re relaxed and calm, which is not always the case when you’re sitting nervously in your underwear. “The readings that are most reliable in predicting complications from blood pressure are the accurately measured readings outside of the doctor’s office,” notes Ward.
Many pharmacies and clinics offer free access to blood pressure machines. You can also purchase a monitor for home use, though it’s advisable that you be trained by a healthcare professional to take an accurate reading. Once you know what’s normal for you, it may be easier to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.