February is American Heart Month

Healthy Heart Tips and Programs at the Y


February is American Heart Month, and with recently published research indicating blood pressure control has worsened in both men and woman since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the YMCA of Greater Nashua 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.

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 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 new program or class.


The YMCA of Greater Nashua is continuing its increased availability of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program – which is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles to help reduce 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.

Here in greater Nashua we have offered the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program for 8 years and the participants have seen positive results. The program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about eating healthier, increasing their physical activity and making other behavior changes with the goal of reducing body weight by 7 percent in order to reduce their risk for developing diabetes. A trained Lifestyle Coach leads the program over a 12-month period. Increased physical activity and moderate weight loss not only reduce diabetes risk, but also have an impact on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

The Y encourages heart health through other programs offered at the Y, as well. Between the Y’s three facility branches (Nashua Y, Merrimack Y, and Westwood Park Y), we have hundreds of classes each month, many of which are geared toward active adults or those who are new to fitness. This includes different yoga classes, group cycling, water aerobics, dance, kickboxing, strength training, and more.

Exercise Programs

The Y also offers BOOST, a small group training program that offers personalized instruction and modification to accommodate all fitness levels. Each class starts with a warm up followed by cardio and strength and ends with a cool-down. This program is perfect for those who are looking to get into fitness or are recovering from injury or illness.

Walk with Ease is a program which teaches you how to safely make physical activity part of your everyday life. Increase balance, strength and walking pace, build confidence in your ability to be physically active and improve overall health! This 8-week program is offered at the Nashua Y and welcomes older adults at all fitness levels. In addition to being a heart-healthy class, the program is especially beneficial for older adults living with arthritis.

There are many options to get heart healthy! Find a way that works for you to increase your aerobic exercise and improve your blood circulation, resulting in lowered blood pressure and heart rate.

The Y has partnered with Altrix Primary Care in Nashua to offer free blood pressure clinics at the Nashua YMCA on Thursday, February 16 and Thursday, February 23 from 10:00am to 12 noon. There is no need to preregister. Just stop by the Nashua YMCA lobby, 24 Stadium Drive. This is open to the community at no charge.

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