YMCAs to offer new blood pressure self-monitoring program

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 7:15am

On Oct. 15 the Central Lincoln County YMCA (CLC YMCA) and Boothbay Region YMCA (BR YMCA) will begin offering the YMCA’s Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program, designed to help participants with hypertension lower their blood pressure by following an evidence-based program that combines blood pressure self-monitoring, nutrition education seminars and personalized support.

The Y developed this program to help individuals better manage hypertension and improve their overall health. According to the American Heart Association, more than 80 million Americans have high blood pressure, but less than half have it under control. Research shows that the simple process of checking and recording blood pressure at least twice a month over four months may lower blood pressure in some people with hypertension. In addition, evidence shows that proper nutrition, particularly with a reduction in sodium intake, may help reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

“We are proud to launch the Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program in partnership with both Boothbay Region YMCA and LincolnHealth,” said Casey Clark Kelley, Healthy Living director, Central Lincoln County YMCA. “The Y is the leading community-based organization dedicated to improving the nation’s health and this program is a great example of putting that commitment into action.”

As part of the Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program, participants will measure their blood pressure at least two times a month for four consecutive months—a minimum of eight times--and record their blood pressure readings in a self-selected tracking tool. A nutrition education component will encourage the participants to practice healthier eating habits, including reducing sodium in their diet.

The program is facilitated by Healthy Heart Ambassadors, appointed and trained by the Y, who will show participants how to use a blood pressure monitor, encourage self-monitoring and facilitate monthly nutrition education seminars.

Both CLC & BR YMCAs are looking for adults with high blood pressure who could benefit from participating in this program. Benefits include:

* A simple, evidence-based program that may lower blood pressure

* Personalized support from a Y Healthy Heart Ambassador

* Tips for maintaining cardiovascular health

* Easy-to-use, portable self-tracking tool

* Heart healthy nutrition education seminars

Participants must meet the following criteria to participate in the program:

* Must be at least 18 years old

* Must be diagnosed with high blood pressure

* Must not have experienced a recent cardiac event

* Must not have atrial fibrillation or other arrhythmias

* Must not be at risk for lymphedema

The CLC YMCA is a key collaborative leader improving the quality of life for all by being the champion for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

For more information contact Casey Clark Kelley at 207-350-7026 or cclarkelley@clcymca.org.