Lower the Pressure
The Y's new Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program is designed to help participants with hypertension lower their blood pressure. It follows an evidence-based program that combines blood pressure self-monitoring, nutrition education and personalized support.
The Y developed this program to help individuals better manage hypertension, and improve their overall health. 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 reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
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—a minimum of eight times—and record their blood pressure 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 cuff, encourage self-monitoring and facilitate monthly nutrition education seminars.
To qualify for the program, participants:
- 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