Just got this from Chamber member, Asante Health System. Very appropriate with February being heart health month.
Want to boost your chances of along, healthy life? Keep your heart in good shape. “Hearthealth is central to your overall well-being,”says Kathy Gallego, manager of Cardiopulmonary Services for Three Rivers Community Hospital. “Some simple lifestyle habits can go a long way toward a healthier heart.” Kathy recommends these 10 tips
1. Eat a heart-healthy diet. This includes whole grains, vegetables, beans, greens, fruit, fish, seeds, and yogurt. “Go easy on nuts, cheese, milk, and red meat,” Kathy says.
2. Monitor Your Salt Intake. “Start reading food product labels, and you’ll be surprised at how much sodium is in prepackaged foods, ”Kathy says. Limit sodium to 2,000 milligrams per day.
3. Stop smoking. Tobacco use can severely damage your heart. Call 541-472-STOP (7867) to learn about Breath for Life, a smoking-cessation program offered through Three Rivers Community Hospital.
4. Exercise regularly. Kathy recommends 30 to 40 minutes of aerobic exercise four to six days per week.
5. Manage your weight. If you’re over weight, talk to your doctor about a weight-loss plan that’s right for you.
6. Drink smart. “Consume alcohol not at all or only in moderation,” Kathy advises.
7. Know your numbers. See your primary care doctor for an annual check of your blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels—primary indicators of heart health.
8. Manage your stress level. Emotional stress can become physical stress, affecting your blood pressure and other body functions.
9. Consider the family factor. “Be familiar with risk factors associated with your family history,” Kathy says. Even the healthiest body is subject to genetics.
10. Heed the signs. “Make sure that you can recognize the early-warning signs of coronary artery disease and heart attack,” Kathy says (see below). Knowing when to seek medical attention can make all the difference.
Warning Signs of Heart Disease
- Chest pain—including feelings of pressure, tightness, and heaviness
- Jaw pain, toothache, or headache
- Shortness of breath, with or without chest pain
- Heartburn or indigestion
- Nausea, vomiting, and general discomfort in the upper abdomen
- Arm pain—usually the left arm but could be either arm
- Upper back or shoulder pain
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- General malaise or vague feelings of illness
If you experience these symptoms, chew an aspirin and call 9-1-1. “Do not drive to the hospital,” advises Kathy. “Time is of the essence, and calling 9-1-1 brings the medical professionals to you.” Prompt treatment dramatically increases your chances of a successful outcome.