Veteran's Health Library Menu

Health Encyclopedia

Related Reading

High Blood Pressure: How to Make Control Your Goal

It’s up to you to successfully manage your blood pressure. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. You can take small, manageable steps to make blood pressure control your goal. Here are some tips to show you how.

Engage Your Health Care Team

Blood pressure control is a team effort. Engage all of your health care professionals—not just your primary care provider or cardiologist. Your pharmacist, nurses, and other health care providers can help you control your high blood pressure.

Next time you go in for a visit, make a list of questions you want to ask your health care provider. For example:

  • What is my blood pressure goal?

  • What are the best ways to reach my goal?

    • Mention what you’re already doing to work toward control, including exercising, changing your diet, or taking medications as prescribed.

    • Be honest and realistic with yourself and your health care team about what lifestyle changes you’re ready to make and the ones you’re not quite ready for.

    • Pick one goal to work towards. As you achieve success and build confidence, choose another goal to tackle.

Take Your Medications Faithfully

Your health care provider has put together a specific medication schedule to help control your blood pressure. You might forget to take your medicine every day. Or maybe you’re having trouble dealing with the side effects. Remember that your medication is important to control your blood pressure.

Here are some tips to help you stick with your medication plan:

  • Talk with your health care provider about any side effects you have with your medications. If needed, discuss other treatment options. Never stop treatment on your own.

  • Make a schedule and set up a system to remind you to take your medications regularly. Use a pillbox for every pill, every day, or use Smartphone “app” reminders.

  • If your insurance offers mail order delivery, set it up and request a 90-day supply of medications. If this service is not available, schedule all your refills at the same pharmacy at the same time each month so you can pick them up all at once.

Monitor Your Blood Pressure

What’s your blood pressure goal? Develop a plan to regularly check your blood pressure, not just at the health care provider’s office, but at home or at a pharmacy. Track your results in a log or diary to monitor your progress.

Make Healthy Choices

  • Exercise can be a great way to help control your blood pressure. Find a safe place to walk or be more active. Increase the time and intensity of your physical activity as you progress.

  • Buy more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and fewer prepared foods with high sodium, cholesterol, saturated fat, and transfat.

  • Learn to read labels and choose foods lower in salt or sodium. Lowering your salt intake will lower your blood pressure.

  • Quit smoking. There are many tools available to help you. Call 855-QUIT-VET or visit for help.

Tools and Resources

Million Hearts®, in partnership with the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, has developed online tools to help you track and manage your heart health, including your blood pressure. The tools provide helpful advice and information. Check out these tools:

Find and download additional materials to help control your high blood pressure at the Million Hearts® website.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 5/22/2015
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
Disclaimer - Opens 'Disclaimer' in Dialog Window | Help | About Veterans Health Library