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YMCA offers blood pressure checks

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A man has his blood pressure checked as part of the new Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program at the Harrison Family YMCA.

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From Contributed Reports

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Harrison Family YMCA recently launched its new Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program.

During kickoff events held at the YMCA, the lobby was even more full than usual of YMCA members ready and willing to learn how to control their blood pressure. The first 50 members to sign up for the program during these events received a free blood pressure monitor, which enticed individuals even more. As of July 2, there were 70 participants signed up with a goal of 50.

Thanks to Nash UNC Health Care Foundation’s support, and the American Heart Association and YMCA of the USA’s curriculums and evidence, this program is now becoming a reality where true impact can be seen in the near future. This partnership thrives around the concept of creating healthier lifestyles for those in our community.

“As we work to address high rates of chronic disease and obesity in youth and adults in our community, partnering with other organizations such as Nash UNC Health Care and the American Heart Association is critical for continued success,” YMCA CEO Jacquelyn Price said. “We are excited to be launching this evidence-based program and are thankful for the support of our community partners. We couldn’t do it without you.”

The Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program is an evidence-based program that features personalized support as one develops the habit of routinely self-monitoring their blood pressure, tips for maintaining cardiovascular health, and nutrition and fitness education to continue that healthy lifestyle. If you are living with high blood pressure, taking action to keep it well-controlled will minimize your risk for complications like stroke, heart attack and even death.

High blood pressure, which makes the heart work harder than it should with each beat, is especially dangerous because it often has no warning signs and usually lasts a lifetime once it develops. The simple process of checking and recording your blood pressure at least twice a month over a period of four months has been shown to lower blood pressure in many people with high blood pressure.

That concept is what forms the basis for this program.The program is currently available for YMCA members, with financial assistance availablefor membership. Qualifications include: Must be at least 18 years old,diagnosed with high blood pressure, not have experienced a recent cardiac event, not have atrial fibrillation or other arrhythmias and not be at risk for lymphedema.

“We could not be more thrilled here at the YMCA for this opportunity to enhance our healthy living offerings in our pursuit of equipping and encouraging individuals to sustain a healthy lifestyle,” YMCA Marketing & Development Director Alyssa Matthews said.

Participants will work with trained Healthy Heart Ambassadors for the duration of the 4-month programby checking in twice a month with staff, taking your own blood pressure twice a month, and attending monthly nutrition seminars. The program began July 8 and lasts until Oct. 24. Registration is now full for this session, but anyone who may be interested and qualifies should stay tuned and consider registering for our next session beginning in November 2019.

For more information, contact Harrison Family YMCA Healthy Living Director Brett Van Pelt at 252-972-9622 or bvanpelt@rmymca.org.