Wilton YMCA 1-of-3 in U.S. Chosen for Healthy Heart Initiative

On Feb. 12, the Wilton Family Y will launch the YMCA’s Healthy Heart Initiative, a pilot program designed to help people with hypertension lower their blood pressure through an evidence-based, self-monitoring practice. The Wilton Y is one of only 3 YMCAs in the country selected to administer this program.

According to Wilton Y Fitness Director Mary Ann Genuario, “The YMCA of the USA developed this pilot program to help people reduce their risk for developing chronic diseases like hypertension. More than 67 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 can lower levels in some patients with hypertension.   

“The Wilton YMCA is  proud to launch  the YMCA Healthy Heart Initiative to accompany our other chronic disease prevention programs which include Diabetes Prevention, Cancer Rehabilitation and EnhanceFitness Senior Wellness.  We are committed to improving the health and well being of individuals and communities through a pipeline of new programs and initiatives.”

As part of the YMCA Healthy Heart Initiative, participants measure their blood pressure at least two times a month for four consecutive months—a minimum of eight times. The blood pressure readings are uploaded into an easy-to-use website called Heart360 that enables participants to record their blood pressure and other data such as weight, blood glucose and more.  The program is led by Healthy Heart Ambassadors, appointed and trained by the Y, who will show participants how to use the self-monitoring blood pressure cuff as well as the Heart360 website.

The Wilton Y is seeking 75 participants who have high blood pressure to take part in this pilot program, which includes:

  • A simple, evidence-based process that may lower blood pressure
  • Self-monitoring blood pressure cuff
  • Access to a Y Healthy Heart Ambassador
  • Tips for maintaining cardiovascular health

Participants must meet the following criteria to participate in the program: 

  • Must be at least 18 years old and diagnosed with high blood pressure
  • Have not experienced a recent cardiac event or be at risk for lymphedema
  • Do not have atrial fibrillation or other arrhythmias
  • Are not currently in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy

An information and registration session will be held at the Y on Wednesday, Feb. 12 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.. To learn more about this program contact Mary Ann Genuario magenuario@wiltonymca.org, 203.762.8384, ext. 282.

Pictured above in the Wilton Y Fitness Center left to right are:  Y member Charlie Galardi with the Heart Healthy blood pressure monitor; Y Fitness Director Mary Ann Genuario; and Y Fitness Trainer Mike Martorell, who will be a Heart Healthy Ambassador.