Get a Blood Pressure Monitor

In addition to a Bluetooth scale, another great investment is a home blood pressure monitor.

You may even be able to get one now at the end of the year, essentially with no out-of-pocket cost!

I’ll tell you how I did it after I tell you about my monitor and why I bought it.

I got the QardioArm home blood pressure in late June after learning more about how high blood pressure can provide chronic stress to blood vessels, which can open the door to slight areas of damage which can become the place where plaques start to form.

It was only $99 plus tax, so it seemed like good value, and I’ve been using it regularly to track my blood pressure.

Here’s my reading from last night, which it categorizes in the Normal range, just above Optimal:

We’ve all had our blood pressure measured at our medical appointments, and I often wonder at their usefulness.

I have had readings in the 140/90 range previously (especially when I was 60 pounds heavier), and I’ve never had anyone suggest that I might have hypertension.

It’s true that sometimes just being in a doctor’s office can raise one’s blood pressure (they call it “white coat hypertension”), and we all have fluctuations. One high reading shouldn’t necessarily send off warning flares.

But if you’re not measuring regularly, how do you know whether it’s “one high reading” or not?

That’s why I think a home blood pressure monitor is a great purchase. Because it’s connected to my iPhone, I can gather and track readings over time, and view them as either monthly or weekly averages. Here’s my chart:

Weekly and Monthly charts of average systolic and diastolic blood pressure are available.

I have at least 10-15 readings per month, and the general trend has been in a good direction.

Here’s why mine was essentially free: As I was going through my medical paperwork last month and reviewing my health care flexible spending account (FSA) program and remaining balance, I saw that home blood pressure monitoring devices are eligible for reimbursement.

I downloaded my receipt and filed online with my administrator, and got full reimbursement. I had already paid for it out-of-pocket, so it was a nice surprise that the money I had set aside in my FSA could reimburse me.

I think the $100 or so would be a good investment for anyone, particularly those of us who are old enough to remember the Carter Administration.

But if you have some FSA money you have to use (or lose) before the end of the year, it’s a total no-brainer.

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