Y Tips & Programs During Heart Month

Wilmington, Delaware – February is American Heart Month, and with recently published research indicating blood pressure control has worsened in both men an woman since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the YMCA of Delaware urges our 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. Learn about some valuable tips and programs for American Heart Health Month from the YMCA of Delaware below.

Per the American Heart Association (AHA), too much sodium in your system also 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 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day (about 1 teaspoon of salt). Having less sodium in your diet may help you lower or avoid high blood pressure.

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 regularly monitoring your own blood pressure, lowering sodium intake, eating healthier, and getting more physical activity. Getting help can be as easy as contacting the Y and taking part in a Healthy Living program.

“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 Amy Desmond, Director of Healthy Living & Strategic Partnerships for the YMCA of Delaware. “No matter what your heart health goal is this year, the Y has a variety of resources, including the Diabetes Prevention Program, to help you get started and achieve them.”

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles to help decrease their chances of developing the disease. Type 2 diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and people with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or suffer a stroke as those who do not have it. Increased physical activity and moderate weight loss not only reduce diabetes risk, but also have an impact on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

The YMCA has offered its Diabetes Prevention Program across the state since 2010. In 2023, more than 400 people participated in the heart health program. Many saw positive results and decreased their body weight. The program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about eating healthier, increasing physical activity, and making other behavior changes. Learn more by visiting ymcade.org or stopping into your local Y.

About the YMCA of Delaware

The YMCA of Delaware is Delaware’s largest nonprofit organization committed to empowering youth, fostering healthy living, and promoting strong communities. With seven branches statewide, a youth resource center, and an overnight camp and conference center in Worton, Maryland, the Y has developed longstanding relationships and a physical presence in Delaware so it can deliver lasting personal and social change. We are committed to serving everyone – regardless of age, income or background –nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving Delaware’s health and wellbeing, and creating a healthy, inclusive community where all people reach their full potential. www.ymcade.org.

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Healthy Kids Day - Saturday, April 20th

Healthy Kids Day events are free, full of family fun, and open to non-members! Join us for games and activities to keep kids moving and learning. Learn More!

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