Pomerene Hospital Blog
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The term "heart disease" refers to several types of heart conditions, the most common being coronary artery disease (CAD) and can cause a heart attack. Heart disease occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in your arteries. This narrows them over time and reduces blood flow and oxygen to the heart, causing the heart to become sick. Heart disease can be prevented by identifying risks and eliminating them from your life.
Here are some ways you can decrease your risk for developing heart disease:
- Don't smoke or quit if you do
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy diet low in fat
- Exercise regularly
- Prevent or treat your other healthy conditions, especially high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes
- Learn to manage your stress in a healthy way. Stress can be very damaging to the heart.
A life style change is easier to maintain if you do it with our family or friends. Do it together and keep each other accountable. Your health is the best gift you could give your loved ones!
April is National Stress Awareness Month!
One of the greatest stress management methods is finding way to get moving in order to stay energized.
Every time you move, you burn calories. Commit to move more each day!
5 Ways to Add Movement to Your Days:
- Take the stairs whenever you can. If you have time, walk up and down more than once!
- Move around while making phone calls, use a resistance band at your desk, or ask the group you are meeting with if they would like to stand together for the meeting time.
- Walk at lunch. Grab a quick, healthy bite to eat before or after your walk. Or you could pack something simple to eat while you continue your work, and use your break time to get your steps in!
- Make active play part of your day. Be sure to have time to play with your kids/ grand-kids, walk the dog, or go for a walk before you rest for the day.
- March in place whenever you are waiting in line.
Click here to view our trail walk/run training program!
Including a healthy diet and exercise in your life style is your best weapon to fight cardiovascular disease. It’s not as difficult as most people think, but does take some commitment to good choices that count.
Here are 5 basic steps to get you on the right path towards a healthier heart!
- A basic first step is to use up as many calories as you take in. Start by knowing how many calories you should be
eating and drinking to maintain your weight. It is important to read labels and understand that they are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, but that you may require fewer or more calories depending on your level of physical activity. In order to lose weight, one must burn more calories than they consume. Therefore, increasing the amount and intensity of your physical activity to exceed your daily intake is key.
- Goals for physical activity in general should include at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity weekly. Thirty minutes five times a week is and easy goal to remember. Moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise can help lower your blood pressure and the risk for heart attack and stroke. This may include a number of activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, or biking. Strength and stretching exercises are best for overall stamina and flexibility. Pick something enjoyable that will make you more likely to adhere to your exercise program. Everyone has to start somewhere, don’t expect to reach your set goals from the start. Set smaller goals and work up.
- Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups and avoid high calorie/nutrient poor foods. A variety of fruits and vegetable, whole grains, low fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish as well as nuts, legumes, and non-tropical vegetable oils should be included. Limit saturated fats, trans fats, sodium, red meat, and foods high in sugar.
- Diagnosing and treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes is extremely important in cardiovascular disease prevention and a cornerstone of treatment. See your doctor regularly and be evaluated, and if necessary, treated.
- If you smoke, STOP!!! Avoiding second hand smoke is also important, so help your loved ones or those that live with you stop.
All of these recommendations can help you lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. If you already have been diagnosed with heart disease or stroke, it is even more important to implement a program of risk modification. Patients who have been diagnosed with heart disease, have had a stent, heart attack, or heart failure, or have had open heart surgery such as coronary artery bypass or valve replacement, may benefit from our cardiac rehabilitation program. Cardiac rehab focuses on teaching risk factor modification and developing exercise programs tailored to each heart patient. Patients learn and exercise in a safe monitored environment with other like them, gradually improving their functional capacity and improving their cardiovascular health.
How Pomerene Can Help You
For more information about cardiovascular health, please click here.
Blog Written By: Alex Nicolozakes, M.D.