First of all, you want to take your blood pressure when you are relaxed. Otherwise, your blood pressure might be higher than usual. Therefore, avoid stress, smoking, cold temperatures, exercise, caffeine, and certain medications right before taking your blood pressure. Moreover, if you have reason to believe that your blood pressure might be abnormal, take it several times during the day to see if it fluctuates.
- Wrap the cuff of the blood pressure monitor tightly around the upper arm, just above the eye of the elbow.
- Press the stethoscope over the artery directly under the cuff.
- Inflate the cuff to 180 mmHg, then release the air at 3mm/second.
- Listen with the stethoscope to the dial reading at the first beat sound, which is systolic pressure.
- The diastolic reading is the dial position when you can no longer hear the beating.