It is a bright and sunny morning at the McGrath Family YMCA in East San Diego County. Moms with toddlers in tow, older adults and people of all ages in between make their way into the state-of-the-art facility for fitness classes and gym time. On their way to and from their physical activities, many stop at the Love Your Heart screening site located in the lobby for a free blood pressure screening.
“It’s been a great experience screening so many people who have never had their blood pressure checked,” said Shane Frazier, nursing student at San Diego State University pictured above. “Love Your Heart gives us the opportunity to educate people on how to prevent blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. I really enjoy helping people in this way.”
Today was Frazier’s first time volunteering for the Love Your Heart event.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is often thought of as a risk factor for older adults, but people of all ages can have high blood pressure without any noticeable symptoms. Along with getting regular blood pressure screenings, you can prevent or reduce heart disease risk by eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily, quitting smoking, and being active for 30 minutes five or more days each week.
The YMCA and other community centers and gyms are a great place to practice healthy habits. Love Your Heart helps to reinforce these positive behaviors.
“Having a Love Your Heart screening site here at the YMCA is really good for our members,” said Jaimie Burt, who has worked at the YMCA as a Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach for the past year. “I hear about health problems from members all the time. It’s important for them to know their numbers so they can reduce heart disease risk.”
Love Your Heart is an annual event organized by the County of San Diego and community partners throughout the San Diego region and Mexico to increase awareness of the risks of high blood pressure by offering free blood pressure screenings. There are more than 100 sites across the San Diego region offering free screenings today. “Join the Heart Health Movement” by visiting a screening site near you.
San Diego State University Nursing Student, Vanessa Trujillo, offers
Jaimie Burt, East County YMCA Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach, a
free blood pressure screening
An East San Diego County resident is all smiles after getting her blood pressure screening