YMCA to launch new Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program

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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Hastings YMCA staff said the new Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program will teach people methods that can lead to lower blood pressure, which is crucial because this condition can lead to other chronic diseases.

"A lot of people here have it and not only do they have it, about half of the people don't have it under control, so a program like this will really help people regulate their blood pressure and get a grip on their health," Hastings Family YMCA Wellness Director Erika Knott said.

High blood pressure is a silent killer that usually has no warning signs or symptoms.

The new program will be free to community members and it will last four months.

People will be able to get their blood pressure checked by an ambassador twice a month, check their own at home twice a month, attend a monthly nutrition seminar and more.

Gwen Ruppert, a Hastings resident, has been diagnosed with high blood pressure for about seven years.

"I was retaining water, my ankles were really swollen," Ruppert said. "I felt dizzy at times, so I can always tell when my blood pressure is really high."

She cannot wait to enroll in the new program.

"I'm not really good about checking my blood pressure regularly," Ruppert said. "I know that I should and that's why I'm kind of excited about about this YMCA program, because it will help me be accountable to monitoring my blood pressure and getting those readings everyday."

To qualify for the new program, you must be at least 18 years old, be diagnosed with high blood pressure and not have experienced a recent cardiac event.

The launch event for the program is Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the 16th street YMCA location.