Healthbeat 4: Free Siouxland program to track blood pressure

Updated: Feb. 7, 2023 at 9:30 PM CST
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SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KTIV) - Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure but many are clueless they have it, according to the American Heart Association.

The Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA in South Sioux City, Nebraska has a free program for Siouxlanders to learn how to monitor their blood pressure at home.

“They come in, they meet with one of us. We teach them how to take their blood pressure, we ask them to keep a log of their home blood pressure monitoring because evidence shows that monitoring your blood pressure twice a month, helps keep blood pressure numbers down,” said Dawn Welch, YMCA Program Coordinator. “We also have an educational component where we do a one-hour seminar once a month. So we talk about the DASH diet, stress management, and how to monitor what you’re eating as a component of blood pressure management.”

Hypertension is called the silent killer because there aren’t obvious symptoms.

People with a family history, older Americans, African Americans, men under 65, and women over 65 are all at risk for high blood pressure. There are ways to prevent and modify your lifestyle to avoid stroke, heart attack, heart failure, vision loss, or kidney disease.

“They can be more active number one thing we get them walking being more active. Watching the salt intake in their diet is really important and choosing hard healthy foods. We go through that in the program and just going to their doctor taking their medications as prescribed and monitoring their blood pressure,” said Welch.

The YMCA’s program is offered through both Siouxland Community Health Center and Dakota County District Health. There is a Spanish-speaking program at both locations.

Here are the requirements:

  • You must be 18 or older
  • You do not have to be a YMCA member
  • You cannot have had a cardiac event within the last year
  • You cannot have A-FIB or other arrhythmias
  • Be at risk for lymphedema.

To enroll, click here for more information or call Dawn Welch at 402-404-8439.