Tahoe " Love Your Heart! | SierraSun.com

Tahoe " Love Your Heart!

"As for you, my galvanized friend, you want a heart. You don't know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable."

Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are our nation’s number one killer. In an effort to urge Americans to join the battle against these diseases, the month of February has been named by Congress as “American Heart Month.” Help make a difference in the Truckee/North Tahoe community and be a part of the campaign for Heart Health with Tahoe Forest Health System!

Some simple ways to Love Your Heart and prevent cardiovascular disease:

Get moving. Not only will you feel better and have more energy, but daily physical activity is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your overall health.

Exercise can reduce your risk of diabetes, stroke and heart attacks and can help keep your weight under control. The good news is it’s easier than you think to incorporate a half hour of movement into your day. Walking, jogging, dancing or dozens of other activities can help your heart. Make it fun! Take the dog for a walk, snowshoe, or jump rope with your kids. For 2009, make a commitment to be more physically active. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, and preferably all, days of the week.

Eat for heart health. Improve your eating habits by choosing a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, and moderate in total fat. A heart-healthy diet is delicious and varied ” rich in vegetables and fruits, with whole grains, high-fiber foods, lean meats and poultry, fish at least twice a week and fat-free or one percent dairy products. If you’re not already, now is the time to start making healthy food choices. If you are having trouble getting started, consult a registered dietitian who can customize an eating plan for you. Also, visit http://www.americanheart.org for great tips on making healthy food choices whether you’re at home or on the go.

Get your blood pressure checked and control it if it’s high. Blood pressure is often called a “silent killer,” because many people are unaware they suffer from high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and more. Be sure to have your blood pressure monitored on a regular basis by a physician.

Blood pressure can often be controlled through exercise, weight loss and diet. Reducing your blood pressure results in less chance of developing heart disease and other serious complications.

Know your numbers. Ask your doctor to check your cholesterol and blood glucose. Work with your doctor to improve any numbers that are not normal. Elevated cholesterol is a major risk factor for developing heart disease. Having high cholesterol can run in families, so be aware and know your numbers. Elevated glucose can lead to diabetes. Diabetes can cause heart disease, kidney disease and is a leading cause of adult blindness. Get your blood sugar in control early.

If you smoke, quit now! If you don’t smoke, don’t start! People who smoke are two to six times more likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smoking individuals. Smoking also boosts the risk of stroke and cancer. Talk with your doctor about new medication options to help you quit.

Aim for a healthy weight. It’s not about your looks. It is about your heart health! Not only is a healthy weight important for a long, vigorous life, but being overweight can contribute to the development of heart disease because the heart has to work harder in people that carry more weight than those who are at a healthy weight.

Tahoe Forest Health System offers many services to help improve or manage your heart health. For those with elevated risk factors, a Cardiac Reconditioning program is available that is dedicated to exercise, education and support to make healthy changes stick, or join our senior exercise program “Silver Steps” open to seniors who want a fun way to feel great and stay active.

For more information about Cardiac Reconditioning and Silver Steps please call 582-3285.

Tahoe Center for Health and Sports Performance offers group exercise programs, weight loss clinics, nutrition consultations with Registered Dietitians and more. They are offering a special $50 Fitness Center Pass through Feb. 28. A Fitness Center Pass includes access to cardio and strength machines and more than 20 group exercise classes per week.

To learn which program is best for you and your heart, or for more information please call 587-3769.

In recognition of American Heart Month, Tahoe Forest Health System is offering free workshops to the public in February.

Five Hot Tips For Better Heart Health

Betsy Taylor, RD

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 5 to 6 p.m.

The Latest in Heart Health

Dr. Tim Lombard, Cardiologist

Wednesdays, Feb. 11 and 25, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Know Your Numbers: Cholesterol and Glucose

Terry Klein, RN, CDE

Wednesday, Feb. 4 and 18, 9:30 TO 10:30 a.m.

To register for these free workshops please call 582-3285.

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