February is American Heart Month, and the South Shore YMCA urges community members to make their health a priority by getting a blood pressure screening.
Blood pressure guidelines from American Heart Association indicate that nearly half of all Americans (46 percent) have high blood pressure. High blood pressure is often referred to as “The Silent Killer” because there are typically no warning signs or symptoms.
While high blood pressure and heart disease are serious conditions, the good news is a healthy heart is an achievable goal through lifestyle changes such as lowering sodium intake, eating healthier, and getting more physical activity. Getting help can be as easy as contacting the Y and taking part in one of our community medical wellness programs.
The South Shore YMCA offers free Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring that 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 to potentially 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.
Blood pressure screening clinics are offered at our South Shore YMCA branch lobbies every week.
- Emilson YMCA (Hanover): Mondays 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
- Hale Family YMCA (Quincy): 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
In addition to monitoring your blood pressure, reducing sodium intake is a great way to keep your heart healthy. Per the American Heart Association (AHA), too much sodium in your system puts an extra burden on your heart and blood vessels. In some people, this may lead to or raise high blood pressure. Everyone, including kids, should reduce their sodium intake to less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day. Having less sodium in your diet may help you lower or avoid high blood pressure.
“While there are many ways to keep your heart healthy, making a conscious effort to tackle your blood pressure and decrease sodium intake are two quick, effective ways to prevent heart disease,” said Katelyn Szafir, South Shore YMCA Medical Wellness Director. “No matter what your heart health goal is this year, our Y has a variety of resources to help you get started and achieve them.”
The South Shore YMCA offers a variety of community medical wellness programs that support all people in meeting their health and well-being goals. Learn more by visiting ssymca.org/medicalwellness or contacting our Medical Wellness Team.
Medical Wellness Programs at the South Shore YMCAOur South Shore Y Medical Wellness Programs offer community health workshops, education, support networks, nutrition, and exercise programs designed to bridge the gap between clinical care and community care. Learn more and find the right program for your wellness needs. Learn More
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