Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Heart Health Month

There is always something going on. Yesterday, in addition to being Valentines Day was also National Condom Day. Did anybody know that? Did anybody care? Well, it was. In addition to this being Black History month...It is also Heart health month. See, I tell you...February is a big month. A big month to have so few days...

Seriously though..(This is the part where I get deep)Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of disability. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, which often appears as a heart attack. In 2010, an estimated 785,000 Americans had a new coronary attack, and about 470,000 had a recurrent attack. About every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and about one every minute will die from one.

Pretty scary stuff huh? The chance of developing coronary heart disease can be reduced by taking steps to prevent and control factors that put people at greater risk. Additionally, knowing the signs and symptoms of heart attack are crucial to the most positive outcomes after having a heart attack. People who have survived a heart attack can also work to reduce their risk of having yet another heart attack or a stroke in the future. If you want or need more information on heart disease and stroke, visit CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention.Read something other than the sports page or the comics for a change. (I myself read the obituraries.)

You know (or at least I hope you know) that High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and secondhand smoke are also risk factors associated with heart disease. I think you should also know the signs and symptoms too-

Check it out..Some heart attacks are sudden and intense; however, most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

•Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.

•Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

•Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort.

Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat,(Not to be confused with dancing and sweating to a James Brown song of the same name.) nausea, or lightheadedness.

The American Heart Association, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the American Red Cross, and the National Council on Aging have launched a new "Act in Time" campaign to increase people's awareness of heart attack and the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately at the onset of heart attack symptoms.

Of course I'm going to tell you in all seriousness that a healthy lifestyle is the only defense you have against heart problems...I'm writing this as much for myself as I am all of you who may be reading this.

A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons you have to fight heart disease. Many people (myself included here) make it harder than it needs to be. It is important to remember that it is the overall pattern of the choices you make that counts.(Just like anything else in life) As you make daily food choices, read nutrition labels and base your eating pattern on these recommendations-

•Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.

•Select fat-free, 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products.

•Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.

•Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day.

•Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.

•Select and purchase foods lower in salt/sodium. (My beautiful wife does a great job in keeping me away from sodium....Haven't enjoyed a decent potato chip in months!)

•If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day if you're a woman and two drinks per day if you're a man. (Yayyyyyy,I'm so glad I'm a man!)

•Keep an eye on your portion sizes. (Very hard for me to do...but I'm working on it.)

Final thing...then you're free to go..Physical activity in your daily life is an important step to preventing heart disease. You can take a few simple steps at home, at work, and at play to increase the amount of physical activity in your life. After you finish reading this blog..Get on your bike and go riding..Go jogging...Do something physical!..

Remember...It's heart health month people...Stay healthy!

A Public service announcement from the Maverick of Life!


James Perkins said...

Good Post Keith ,Once again very informative!

Samuel Bastion said...

Very timely !

Grover Tha Playboy said...

"The Maverick of Life??"LMBAO!

Angie B. said...

Good Post!

Toni said...

Thanks for writing this...Tips to live by!

Sunflower said...

Just read "Good Foodie" Nice tie in!


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