Thursday, February 3, 2011

February is recognized as American Heart Month

Did you know heart disease is the number one killer in the United States? A person has a coronary event almost every 25 seconds and every minute a person dies from the disease. That’s why the American Heart Association is trying to raise awareness during the month of February.

“A common reaction from people is I’m too young to worry about heart disease, but one thing we want to talk about is prevention is the key,” said Trent Tangen, assistant director of Fitness and Wellness for Recreational Sports. “If we want to lower the statistics, lower the number of heart attacks that occur we have to start with prevention.”

It’s often during college when young adults start to form lifelong habits. The American Heart Association’s “7 Small Steps to BIG Changes” campaign is designed to teach healthy habits.

The association recommends:

1. Getting Active – Come use facilities, such as TRAC to exercise and take advantage of group exercise, the fitness floor and outdoor REC facilities. You can also get exercise at home by doing something as simple as cleaning the house, working in the garden or taking a pet for a walk.

2. Controlling Your Cholesterol – It is important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to reduce cholesterol. It is also recommended that you reduce the amount of saturated fats in your diet, fried food and red meat.

3. Eating Better – One of the most important things you can do is start your day off with a well rounded breakfast. Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do for your diet so be sure to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with high protein snacks in between.

4. Managing Your Blood Pressure – Learn and practice stress management techniques as it is a great way to help accomplish this goal.

5. Losing Weight – Simply losing 10 percent of your total body weight can help reduce your cholesterol scores and your blood pressure.

6. Reducing Your Blood Sugar – Cut back on refined sugars which are commonly found in juices, soda, candy and other “junk” foods.

7. Quitting Smoking – One of the best things you can do to improve your heart health is to quit smoking.

The key to preventing heart problems later in life is to develop healthy habits now, following these seven steps will benefit you tremendously in the future



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