Medical Mutual’s Hypertension Management Program – Lark for Blood Pressure Control.
Congratulations on taking charge of your high blood pressure.
You should be proud of your efforts. Monitoring blood pressure regularly, in a healthcare setting and at home, is an important part of managing your hypertension. Lark can help you keep track of your blood pressure values, as well as provide coaching on making healthy lifestyle choices that can help lower your blood pressure.
Following these guidelines can help you better manage your blood pressure.
It is recommended that people with hypertension get their blood pressure measured in the office every few months or as directed by their healthcare provider.
If you feel yourself getting nervous, your heart starts pounding, and you end up with unusually high blood pressure readings when you go to the doctor’s office, you may have “white coat hypertension.” This is quite common, and it results from nerves. Taking your blood pressure regularly at home can help prevent this common phenomenon by getting you used to having your blood pressure measured.
Another important part of measuring blood pressure is to measure it at home every day. If you have a connected home blood pressure monitor, it will automatically upload the value to Lark. Otherwise, you can simply add your blood pressure value by typing it into the Lark app. Lark can serve as your “blood pressure journal” by remembering each measurement and when you recorded it.
It is important to take your blood pressure properly when you are at home, so your blood pressure reading is accurate.
Here are some tips:
Lark can remind you of these guidelines for getting an accurate blood pressure measurement, so there is no need to worry. The most important thing is to keep measuring regularly so Lark can coach you and so you know how you are doing. Then, be sure to take Lark to your doctor’s appointments so you can show your doctor all of your progress in managing your blood pressure.
Taking any prescription anti-hypertensive medications according to instructions is one of the most important things you can do to manage blood pressure. Lark can help you take prescriptions properly by sending reminders and tracking each day that you take your medications.
Logging meds in Lark can help you take them properly and get the blood pressure-lowering benefits.
Lark offers weight loss coaching. Losing weight can decrease blood pressure. Each pound you lose can lead to a systolic blood pressure decrease of about 0.5 mm Hg. That means losing as little as 10 pounds can lead to a decrease in systolic blood pressure of 5mm Hg. Little changes, such as eating more vegetables, trimming fat from meat, and drinking water instead of juice, can all help with sustainable weight loss.
Continuing your home blood pressure monitoring can be rewarding as you lose weight because you may be able to see your blood pressure decreasing gradually over time. Since Lark records your blood pressure values it can show you links between weight loss and blood pressure. So be sure to keep measuring your blood pressure at home on a daily basis.
What you eat affects blood pressure, which is why you can log foods in Lark and get feedback on what you ate. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats are some of the foods Lark encourages. It is better to limit processed, sugary and fried foods when managing high blood pressure.
Sodium may be the most well-known nutrient that is linked to high blood pressure. You may have noticed that you are extra thirsty when you consume a high amount of salty foods, such as pickles, cold cuts, canned soup, or Chinese food.
That extra water may stay in your body for a while. It stays in your bloodstream, and the result is higher blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables contain potassium, which helps your body release water. Keep measuring your blood pressure at home so Lark can help provide insights on links between what you eat and how your blood pressure responds.
Regular aerobic physical activity can lower systolic blood pressure by up to 8 mm Hg. Lark suggests setting – or working up to – a goal of at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, swimming laps, or cycling. Adding resistance training, such as with weights, can further lower blood pressure.
Taking your blood pressure at home every day can help you see the value of exercise when managing blood pressure. The blood pressure-lowering effects of exercise last only about 24 hours, so you may see your blood pressure start to rise if you go for a few days without being physically active. Lark’s insights into the relationship between activity and blood pressure, may help motivate you to get moving, so keep measuring your blood pressure at home.
2017 Clinical Guidelines Table 8 pg E23 Checklist for accurate measurement of BP