As a leading community-based organization committed to improving the nation’s health, the Y has made a national commitment to the Million Hearts campaign, an initiative that aims to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes. February is American Heart Month, and according to the American Heart Association, 1 out of every 3 American adults have high blood pressure. Heart disease and stroke are the two leading causes of death for men and women in the United States.
As part of our commitment to improve the health of central Iowa, the YMCA of Greater Des Moines offers the Y’s Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program, which helps adults with hypertension lower and better manage their blood pressure. The program focuses on regular monitoring of one’s blood pressure at home using proper measuring techniques, individualized support and nutrition education in an effort to reduce blood pressure and improve their quality of life.
Research shows that the simple process of checking and recording your blood pressure at least twice a month over a four-month period, along with regular physical activity, proper nutrition and reducing sodium intake, may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
To join the program, you must be over 18 years old, diagnosed with high blood pressure, not have experienced a recent cardiac event/atrial fibrillation/arrhythmias, and not be at risk for lymphedema. This program is free and open to the Greater Des Moines community at the following locations:
Nationally, Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring is available at 160 sites in 27 states and will expand to more in 2017. To date, participants lowered their systolic blood pressure by an average of 4.9 mmhg between initial and final readings.