A Happy Heart Includes Healthy Living Habits

“Heart disease is the number one cause of death for American women. Stroke is the number three cause of death. To get the most benefit for your healthy heart, choose more fruits, vegetables and foods with whole grains. Select healthy protein. Eat less food with added sugar, calories and unhealthy fats.” (Exercise is your friend. Move daily – YOUR healthy heart depends on it.) – American Heart Association (2016)

Healthy Habits include:

  1. Take all Meds as Prescribed

It is important to take all medicines prescribed by your Medical Provider EXACTLY as prescribed. Often times after feeling well, patients want to stop or miss days taking prescribed medicine. Each medicine is prescribed with your TOTAL health in mind. The regimen is there to help and support your well-being and each has its own purpose.

Do NOT run out of medicine and do not skip or quit when feeling better. Should you want to make any changes or need a new prescription for any reason, consult with your Doctor. He or she knows best.

  1. If you Smoke – QUIT!

One’s risk for having a heart attack is more than twice that of a person who has never smoked. Smoking also increases the risk for sudden cardiac death in people with coronary heart disease.

Having a hard time quitting? Check with your Doctor. Your medical provider can recommend the best method for you to stop smoking.

  1. Manage Your Calories

Recognizing that as we get older losing weight is more difficult; experts recommend you manage the calories intake. Start TODAY! Keeping a journal on your electronic device is a great way to keep track of caloric intake. Too, the old fashioned way with pen, paper and a journal still works.

– To learn more about calorie consumption, visit the American Heart Association site.

  1. Eat a Balanced Diet – DAILY

– Reduce your salt intake

– Choose low fat or fat free milk, cheese and /or yogurt

– Choose reduced fat, low fat, light or no fat dressing. As an alternative, consider squeezing a fresh lemon over your greens instead of using a salad dressing.

– Choose leaner cuts of meat

– Avoid dark meats and remove all skin off of chicken

– Weekly have a “NO MEAT DAY” – Eat vegetables and for dessert try a different fruit in season

  1. Read Food Labels
  2. EXERCISE

– Walking is a great smart start if you are spending too much time on the couch.

By making exercise a part of your daily routine, you will:

– Strengthen heart and lungs

– Improve circulation

– Increase endurance

– Lower blood pressure

And….you may even lose weight

Heart Smart Help For Her | February is Heart Disease Month

LWMJanFeb2015-smallfinal_Page_11Many believe the leading cause of death among women is cancer. If that is what you think, you are NOT alone. Unfortunately, you are not correct. The leading cause of death among women is HEART DISEASE. Yes, heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association heart disease is responsible for one in every three woman’s deaths per year. Worse yet, many still believe that heart disease is a man’s disease. It is NOT. In fact since 1984 women continue to die from heart disease at a growing and rapid rate.

So, you ask…What should women do to prevent heart disease?

1. Take Responsibility.

Women must take responsibility for her personal health and well being. Generally the care giver of her family, women are good at helping and encouraging others – family, friends but not diligent when it comes to her self. Every woman’s  first defense and motto going forward must be TAKE CARE OF ME – FIRST.

The best prevention against heart disease is to understand the risks and treatment options if heart disease and stroke history are apparent. Ask your health provider questions. Before visiting the doctor’s o ce be prepared. Take a pen and pencil with you. Ask questions – lots of them and write the answers down. Share your family’s history with your health provider. The information shared will become a part of the permanent health record. Especially share the information if heart disease and stroke are a part of your DNA. Your health history matters.

2. Know YOUR Risks- At EVERY Age.

The older one is the greater the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Be diligent and focused. Recognize and honor your genetic make-up. If a family member has a history of cardiovascular disease, i.e. parents, siblings, grandparent – your risk is much greater.

3. DO NOT SMOKE, Not Now, Not EVER!

The evidence is overwhelming. Cigarette smoking and second hand exposure to smoking increases the risks of heart disease, lung cancer and stroke.

4. Keep the Pressure DOWN.

Hypertension also known as high blood pressure is the “silent killer.” It often goes without symptoms. Checking with your Doctor or health provider is a must on a regular basis – especially if there is a family history of high blood pressure. Heredity and increasing age raises the risk.

5. The Number Counts – Monitor Cholesterol.

Abnormal or high blood lipids (fats) are a major contributor to cardiovascular disease. Blood lipids include the LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL and triglycerides. The lower one’s LDL and the higher HDL, the better. If one is at risk, check with your Physician. Diet may or may not help. Medication may be the best prevention.

By Dorri C. Scott, MSW

Try Dancing for Heart Health

 

dance benefitA study conducted by medical researchers in Italy found that people with mild to moderate heart failure who took up waltzing improved their heart health, their breathing and their quality of life significantly more than those who exercised by bicycling or walking on a treadmill.

The dancers reported many benefits of dancing: slightly better results for sleep, mood, and their ability to have sex, pursue hobbies and do housework than the group that followed more traditional cardiac rehab.

Dancing allows you to work at your fitness level, increasing speed and footwork as your strength and stamina improve.

Other benefits of dancing for health include:

  • Using more of your muscle groups for overall toning
  • Improving balance, which can help you avoid falling injuries
  • Reducing stress
  • Improving your social life and making new friends
  • Having fun and feeling young
  • Using oxygen more efficiently
  • Patients stuck to their programs longer

According to Elliott M. Antman, MD, a heart specialist at Harvard Medical School, “Dancing appears to be an attractive and fun way for heart failure patients to get
their exercise,” Antman said. “I highly recommend it.”

Tango Classes Put Parkinson’s Patients a Step Ahead

From a study published in the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy.

Researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis medical school compared the effects of Argentine tango lessons and exercise classes on the functional mobility of 19 Parkinson’s patients. The patients were randomly assigned to do 20 one-hour tango classes or group strength and exercise sessions designed for Parkinson’s patients and the elderly.

All the patients were assessed prior to the start of these activities and after they completed the sessions. The dance classes included stretching, balance exercises, tango-style walking, footwork patterns, experimenting of timing of steps, and dance with and without a partner. By the end of the sessions, both groups showed significant improvements in standard tests designed to measure mobility. People in the tango group showed more improvement in balance than those in the exercise group.

“This type of therapy looks to be superior to what is currently offered,” Researcher Madeline E. Hackney, a pre-doctoral trainee in movement science, said in a prepared statement. “The quality of life improved in these patients because of the social aspect of dancing.” Social Ease, Emotional Lifelines & the ‘Hug Theory’

For many people, there is emptiness, loneliness, something missing in their life. Ballroom & Latin Dance offers something wonderful to fill that void and offers so many great benefits too.

Regular dance classes give people a chance to become much more at ease in a social situation. The dance position used in Ballroom and Latin Dancing is very similar to a hug. It is believed that this is part of the attraction of getting to dance together in a closed hold and that is a very basic human need for connection.

By: Yvonne M. Cimo

High Five Heart Beware!

 

 

high 5 heart

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