Blood pressure action plan

We also have a printable version of the action plan.

Simply, download and print the PDF version available below, review each action and tick the relevant columns. Make a start once you've chosen the actions you are ready to do now.  

Important actions

The most important action in this plan is to take your medicines as prescribed. There are risks if you don’t take them. If you’re ‘not ready’ to do this, see your doctor to discuss why. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine if you are worried about side effects.

Talk with your doctor about your blood pressure. 

Talk with your doctor about your blood pressure. 

Your doctor can explain what blood pressure means, and how to manage it. This might include lifestyle changes such as weight loss, increasing physical activity and healthy eating.

Your doctor may also want to discuss medicines that you may need to take to manage high blood pressure.

It’s a good idea to write down any questions you have before you visit your doctor, so you don’t forget them.

Read more about blood pressure and how to manage high blood pressure. 

Take blood pressure medicines as prescribed. 

Take blood pressure medicines as prescribed. 

For medicines to work properly, you need to take them as directed by your doctor. This means taking the right dose at the right times with or without food.

Tips for remembering to take your medicine correctly:

  • take it at the same time every day
  • use a weekly pill box with separate compartments
  • mark it on a calendar or use an alarm on your mobile phone.

See our tips for taking medicines.

See your doctor regularly to have your blood pressure checked. 

See your doctor regularly to have your blood pressure checked. 

If you have high blood pressure you will need to have it checked regularly. This will help your doctor to manage it and see how you are responding to treatment. Also discuss with your doctor whether you should be monitoring your blood pressure at home.

Learn how to measure your blood pressure (PDF).

Be physically active. 

Be physically active. 

Aim to do 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, on all or most days of the week. This can be as simple as going for a brisk walk with a friend or joining a dance class.

Get tips on exercising after a heart attack.

Make fresh foods the main part of your diet. Include a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, lean meat, poultry and fish, unflavoured, reduced fat dairy and plain unsalted nuts and legumes.

Make fresh foods the main part of your diet. Include a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, lean meat, poultry and fish, unflavoured, reduced fat dairy and plain unsalted nuts and legumes.

The foods and drinks you choose each day can help to manage your blood pressure. A healthy eating pattern, with a wide variety of healthy foods, will be naturally low in salt, and higher in potassium. Did you know these two things are important for managing your blood pressure? Simple changes can make a big difference.

Learn more about eating fruit and vegetables, proteins and dairy foods.

Avoid high-salt foods, such as potato crisps/chips, salted nuts, commercial sauces (e.g. tomato, soy, fish), processed meat and most take-away foods.

Avoid high-salt foods, such as potato crisps/chips, salted nuts, commercial sauces (e.g. tomato, soy, fish), processed meat and most take-away foods.

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. Many of these foods are high in salt. Eating them also means less space in your diet for healthy fresh foods which can help to manage your blood pressure.

Learn more about ways to cut down on salt.

Use herbs and spices instead of salt in cooking and at the table.

Choose low-salt or salt-reduced foods where available.

Use herbs and spices instead of salt in cooking and at the table.

Choose low-salt or salt-reduced foods where available.

You can help keep your salt intake down by:

  • concentrating on eating fresh foods such as fruit and vegetables
  • choosing minimally processed foods such as wholegrain cereals, nuts and seeds, reduced fat dairy, lean meat and fish.
  • limiting the amount of salt you add during cooking and at the table.

Find out how less salt doesn’t have to mean less flavour.

Healthy men and women – limit alcoholic drinks to two standard drinks per day. 

Healthy men and women – limit alcoholic drinks to two standard drinks per day. 

We recommend that healthy men and women drink no more than two standard alcoholic drinks a day. If you don’t already drink alcohol, or drink less than these limits, don’t drink more. Healthy drinks include tap and mineral water, along with tea and coffee.

Learn more about what a standard alcoholic drink is.

If you have high blood pressure or are taking blood pressure medicine, not drinking alcohol is the safest option. Check with your doctor if you have any concerns.   

If you have high blood pressure or are taking blood pressure medicine, not drinking alcohol is the safest option. Check with your doctor if you have any concerns.   

Drinking less alcohol can help to manage your blood pressure, and lower your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and many other problems.

Learn more about alcohol and heart health and healthier drinks.

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.Ask for a referral to an accredited practicing dietitian. 

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.Ask for a referral to an accredited practicing dietitian. 

Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and being physically active every day can help to manage your blood pressure. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight.

Use the healthy weight action plan to guide you. Find an accredited practicing dietitian.

  • At least one action needs a decision made.

Well done on making a great start. You're already doing many of these actions already. It's good to go back and check the things you're already doing. For example, use a food diary track your progress, whether it's actions you're already doing, or ready to do now.

The tips below can help you plan each step in your recovery.

Well done on making a great start. You're already doing many of these actions already. You can help keep yourself on track by using a diary to track your progress, whether it's actions you're already doing, or ready to do now.

The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery.

Well done on making a great start. You're already doing many of these actions already. You can help keep yourself on track by using a diary to track your progress, whether it's actions you're already doing, or ready to do now.

Don't worry about not being ready to take action on some things. Recovery is not a race. Remember every step you take counts.

The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery.

Well done on starting your action plan. It's great that you're ready to take action on so many things. Sometimes, it's challenging when you have a long list of things to do. You can help keep yourself on track by using a diary to track your progress as you go.

The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery.

Well done on making a start. It's great that you're ready to take action on so many things. Sometimes, it's challenging when you have a long list of things to do. You can help keep yourself on track by using a diary to track your progress as you go.

The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery, even if you think you're not ready.

It's great that you're ready to take action on so many things. Sometimes, it's challenging when you have a long list of things to do. You can help keep yourself on track by using a diary to track your progress as you go.

Don't worry about not being ready to take action on some things. Recovery is not a race. Remember every step you take counts.

The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery.

Well done on starting your action plan. Making a plan is an important step in your recovery. Even though you don't feel ready to make a start with most actions, don't worry. Recovery is not a race. Every step you take counts – even if it's just one.

Take your time. The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery, even if you think you're not ready.

The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery, even if you think you're not ready.

Well done on making a start. Making a plan is an important step in your recovery. Even though you don't feel ready to make a start with most actions, don't worry. Recovery is not a race. Every step you take counts – even if it's just one.

Take your time. The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery, even if you think you're not ready.

Well done on starting your action plan. It's great that you're ready to take action, no matter how many steps you're ready to take action on.

Making a plan is an important step in your recovery.

Even though you don't feel ready to make a start with most actions, don't worry. Recovery is not a race. Every step you take counts – even if it's just one.

Take your time. The tips below can help you plan your next step toward recovery, even if you think you're not ready.

Already doing this

You haven’t selected anything that you’re ‘already doing’. Don’t worry, just choose something you’re ‘ready to do now’ and focus on that. If you need advice, you can call the Heart Foundation Helpline on 1300 36 27 87.

You’ve already started these actions. Great work. When you get started, keep track of your progress using a diary and the will become part of your routine in no time.

You’ve already started these actions. Great work. Keep track of your progress using a diary and the will become part of your routine in no time.

Ready to do now

You haven’t selected anything that you’re ‘ready to do now’. If you’re not sure what to do next, talk to a friend, your health care professional about steps you can take to improve your heart health. If you need advice, you can call the Heart Foundation Helpline on 1300 36 27 87.

It’s great you’re ready to start this action. Take your time getting it right, then select a new action to try. The tip below can help you make this action plan work for you.

It’s great you’re ready to start these actions. Take your time getting them right, then select a new action to try. The tips below can help you make this action plan work for you.

Not ready yet / Undecided

You haven’t selected anything you’re ‘not ready to do’. Well done, it looks like you’re making great progress. Follow the tips above for things you’re ‘ready to do now’. If you need a new challenge, ask a health care professional about more ways to improve your heart health. If you need advice, you can call the Heart Foundation Helpline on 1300 36 27 87.

You’ve listed the below item as something you’re not ready to do yet. Give this action a try when you’re ready.

You’ve listed the below items as something you’re not ready to do yet or you may not have selected it at all. Give one of these actions a try when you’re ready

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Blood pressure action plan (pdf)

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