YMCA Offers Free Blood Pressure Monitoring Program

A new program at the Don Sjogren Community YMCA aims to help area residents manage high blood pressure.

Phelps County Blood Pressure Monitoring is a free four-month program that helps participants develop a habit of monitoring blood pressure. It includes eight consultations (twice a month) with Healthy Heart Mentor Anna Gardine.

Consultations are by appointment from 5:30-7 p.m. on Mondays and 10-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays and are open to YMCA members and non-members at no cost.

Each consultation will be 15-20 minutes. During the consult, Gardine will take the participant’s blood pressure and discuss topics such as diet, exercise and stress reduction. Participants will receive a blood pressure monitor to take and record their blood pressure at home.

The goal of the program is to support and help participants manage their blood pressure, build healthy habits regarding hypertension and develop good communication with medical providers.

“Managing and monitoring blood pressure is the goal,” Gardine said. “We will also present healthy lifestyle choices that are known to help manage hypertension. It’s a bonus if their numbers happen to go down.”

Participants who have consistently high blood pressure will be encouraged to make an appointment with their doctors.

Persistent high blood pressure can increase the risk of many serious health conditions including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, vascular dementia and aortic aneurysms.

According to the American Heart Association, nearly 80 million adults have high blood pressure and less than half have it under control.

Those who meet the following criteria are eligible for the blood pressure monitoring:

  • At least 18 years old
  • No cardiac events in the last 12 months
  • Do not have atrial fibrillation or other arrhythmias
  • Do not have or are at risk for lymphedema

Gardine is a recent new employee at the Don Sjogren Community YMCA. She graduated from Doane College in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science with an emphasis in biology. She also has worked as a personal trainer for the past eight years.

Anyone interested in setting up an appointment with Gardine for blood pressure monitoring should contact the YMCA at (308) 995-4050 or email Gardine at agardine@ymcaoftheprairie.org.

The blood pressure monitoring program is made possible through a grant from the Phelps Memorial Hospital Foundation.

The YMCA is dedicated to strengthening the community through programs focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For more information about the Y, visit www.ymcaoftheprairie.org.

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