This summer, the YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County will begin offering the YMCA’s Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program, designed to help participants with hypertension lower their blood pressure by following a program that combines blood pressure self-monitoring, nutrition education and personalized support.
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.
“One aspect of the Y’s work is preventive health — helping people be aware and proactive in order to take a role in their own health before they develop a more serious condition,” said Gunnar Madison, Health and Wellness Director at the YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County. “In addition, the Y’s partnership with Cayuga Health Systems means we are able to communicate and complement the work of local health care professionals by offering more of these evidence-based programs. The goal, as always, is improving public health.”
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 and record their 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.
The Y is looking for adults with high blood pressure who could benefit from participating in this program. Benefits include:
- Personalized support from a Y Healthy Heart Ambassador
- Tips for maintaining cardiovascular health
- Easy-to-use, portable self-tracking tool
- 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 program will launch July 25 and continue through November 11. Registration is open now, and details are available here.
For program eligibility, enrollment, or questions contact Gunnar Madison, Health and Wellness Director, at [email protected].
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