January 18, 2018
February is American Heart Month, and as a leading charity committed to improving community health, the Tampa YMCA urges everyone in Tampa Bay to get a blood pressure screening. Revised blood pressure guidelines from the American Heart Association mean 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.
While high blood pressure and heart disease are serious conditions the good news is that a healthy heart is an achievable goal through lifestyle changes such as lowering sodium intake, eating healthier and getting more physical activity.
The Tampa YMCA encourages heart health through numerous programs, including Y-Weight, Y Diabetes Prevention Program, SilverSneakers, personal training, group training and corporate health partnerships.
In this newsletter, you’ll read about Tori. She made a successful lifestyle transition with the help of our free Y-Weight program. Through her relationship with a knowledgeable, supportive trainer, she remained committed to stay on her path of success. And she’s just one out of thousands of accomplishments we come across at our Y every day.
In addition to our wellness experts, programs and services, the Y offers the following tips on how to live heart healthy.
- Think fresh: Reducing sodium intake is a great way to keep your heart healthy. Most of the sodium Americans eat is found in processed foods. Eat highly processed foods less often and in smaller portions — especially cheesy foods, such as pizza; cured meats, such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and deli meats; and ready-to-eat foods, like canned chili, ravioli and soups.
- Enjoy home-prepared foods: Cook more often at home — where you can limit the amount of salt you use.
- Fill up on veggies and fruits: Eat a vegetable or fruit (fresh or frozen) at every meal. They are naturally low in sodium.
- Adjust your taste buds: Cut back on salt little by little — and pay attention to the natural tastes of food. Your taste for salt will lessen over time. Additionally, keep salt off the kitchen counter and dinner table and substitute spices, herbs, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice to season foods.
- Boost your potassium intake: Choose foods with potassium, which may help to lower your blood pressure. Potassium is found in potatoes, beet greens, tomato juice and sauce, sweet potatoes, beans (white, lima, kidney) and bananas. Other sources of potassium include yogurt, clams, halibut, orange juice and milk.
Whether you have high blood pressure, are at risk for heart disease or want to keep your heart healthy, the Y has resources that can help achieve better health. Learn more by clicking here or stopping into your local Y.
President & CEO