Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tackle Heart Health Together - 14 Healthier Valentine's Day Ideas



Your sweetheart may have the key to your heart, but a proper diet and regular physical activity can be the key to a healthy heart. This Valentine’s Day, skip the chocolates and indulge your sweetheart with a heart-healthy gift or date. There’s no better gift than helping each other maintain healthy habits to prevent heart disease and stroke, the No.1 and No. 5 health threats, so you can live a longer, stronger life together.

Christa and Patrick Page would agree that couples who sweat together can stay healthy together for many years to come. The married couple workout together at Gold’s Gym in LaGrange, NY.

“We definitely push each other to do more. When you’re working out with a companion, you’re more likely to go because they’re depending on you. You don’t back out of it or make excuses not to go,” said Christa Page.

They take yoga and kickboxing classes together, workout with a trainer and enjoy outdoor sports together like snowboarding, paddle boarding and mountain biking.

“We just really enjoy each other’s company and push each other to be healthy,” she said, “We feel more energized, more connected.”

“With yoga, it’s a great, intense workout but it’s good to relax for an hour and de-stress together,” said Patrick Page.

The American Heart Association recommends exercising 30 minutes most days of the week to prevent heart disease and stroke, the number one and five killers. Working out together as a couple is a great way to improve health during American Heart Month and year-round. Here are 14 other ways to make your February 14th a sweet, and healthy Valentine’s Day from the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association.

  1. Quality time is one of the most meaningful gifts. Bundle up and plan an active mid-winter outing such as sledding, ice skating, or skiing.
  2. Build a cozy fire – chopping and collecting wood counts as exercise!
  3. Try a new physical activity together like an indoor rock climbing or indoor golf lessons.
  4. Make reservations at your favorite healthy restaurant – sample a variety of heart healthy menu items and share a dessert to help control calories.
  5. Create a gourmet dinner at home with healthy seasonal foods like sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, apples, pears, carrots and winter squash. Try cooking methods like baking, roasting and steaming and use lean meats and whole grains.
  6. Add spice of life but not the sodium – Eat well and healthy meals together but pledge to reduce sodium in your meals to help prevent high blood pressure and stroke.
  7. Roast chestnuts by an open fire.  Yes, go nuts by the fire! Roasted, unsalted nuts of all varieties are great as appetizers and gifts. You can also add nuts to many winter dishes, such as green beans with dry-roasted almonds.
  8. Toast to heart health with non-alcohol drinks.  Be mindful of your health and drink in moderation. Enjoy non-alcoholic versions of your favorite cocktails to lower calories or use less alcohol by mixing with sparkling water or sugar-free juices.
  9. Hit the dance floor – What’s more romantic than taking your sweetheart out for a spin on the dance floor? Even if it’s dancing around the living room, dancing is a great aerobic activity that can burn over 300 calories per hour.
  10. Walk and talk – Set up regular morning or evening walks together to get your 30 minutes of exercise in while connecting with each other.
  11. Meditate and destress together – Keeping stress out of a marriage isn’t easy, but building in time to meditate together can help and keep you focused on the important things in life.
  12. Roll out your yoga mat side-by-side – Buy a new beginner’s Yoga DVD and try Yoga together to distress, stretch and strengthen.
  13. Snuggle up for a nap - We’re not talking hibernation, even though staying under the covers all day may sound attractive. Stay healthy all winter long by getting enough sleep (about eight hours a night). Sleep helps to ward off illness, maintain weight and keep your heart healthy.
  14. Workout together – Don’t hit the gym alone. Couples can support and motivate each other, and help each other stay committed to achieve fitness goals.

 For more information on staying healthy, visit www.heart.org.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kids, Get Fit During American Heart Month with 4-Week FitKids Challenge!


The best way to stay healthy is to develop good habits and that begins at an early age. Time Warner Cable News is devoting the month of February to show kids and adults great ways to stay fit with healthy recipes, activities for the whole family and informative pieces to help you and your kids feel good inside and out.

Take the Fit Kids Challenge! 
The 4-week challenge, designed with help from the American Heart Association, encourages you and your family to make simple and healthy choices.

Motivate your friends and family
Encourage others by sharing photos of health and fitness on social media using hashtag: #FitKidsFeb 

video

Learn more at http://www.twcnews.com/fitkids.html


Friday, February 6, 2015

National Wear Red Day - Shine a Light on Heart Disease in Women


Get ready to see red, Hudson Valley. The American Heart Association, Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the NYS Bridge Authority have teamed up to have the FDR Mid-Hudson Bridge illuminated red to shine a light—quite literally—on heart disease and stroke, that 1 in 3 women die from each year. The bridge will glow red for the entire month of February, including National Wear Red Day, February 6th.

On National Wear Red Day, thousands of Hudson Valley employees will wear red to raise awareness and also raise funds to support critical research and education for heart disease in women. Everyone who donates $5 to the Go Red For Women campaign receives a red dress pin or Go Red wristband, and lifesaving heart health education. In addition to wearing red, some organizations in the region will offer heart healthy lunch and learn programs, organize healthy walks, or offer healthier foods in vending machines or cafeterias.


Adams Fairacre Farms windows are already decorated with red hearts, sold for $1 donation at store registers through February. Catskill Hudson Bank branches will decorate their windows in red, as well. Shop Rite in Poughkeepsie is offering heart health information, weight management classes, and other screenings throughout American Heart Month.


“Hundreds of local businesses, hospitals, towns, schools are ready to Go Red to help raise awareness and funds to fight the number one killer of women – cardiovascular disease,” said Betty Fanelli, Go Red For Women Chair, “Every red light, every red heart, every red dress should be a reminder to women to fight their number one killer—heart disease.”

The AHA’s Go Red For Women movement focuses on women’s heart health awareness in February because more women than men are dying from heart disease and stroke. Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke. The symptoms of heart attack can be different in women vs. men, and women often delay seeking treatment.

But more than 80% of heart disease in women can be prevented by making simple lifestyle changes like eating healthier, quitting smoking and exercising 30 minutes daily. Women can get lifesaving information at www.goredforwomen.org.



Capping off American Heart Month is the AHA’s 6th annual Go Red For Women Luncheon at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie on February 27th featuring Amy Roloff, star of TLC’s Little People, Big World. Tickets are available online at http://dutchessulstergored.ahaevents.org

Go Red is sponsored nationally by Macy's.

Prevent Heart Disease with Life's Simple 7

More than one in three adults has some form of cardiovascular disease. According to the American Heart Association, 80 percent of heart disease and stroke can be prevented. They are encouraging Americans to focus on seven simple lifestyle changes to lower risk for heart disease and improve overall health with their “Life’s Simple 7” heart risk assessment and customized action plan tool.

“While treatment and research advances in cardiac care can save a great many lives, significant movement on the needle has to come on the prevention side,” said James Lyons, MD, Heart Failure Program Director with the Hudson Valley Heart Center. Lyons is the American Heart Association’s Board President, “There are simple things everyone can do to lower their risk of the number one and four killers—heart disease and stroke.”


Get active.
You don’t have to join a gym or run in a 5K. Start small by incorporating physical activity into your daily routine like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, park at the farthest end of the parking lot or use your lunch break to take a quick walk.

“Exercise is the single most important thing you can do to improve your overall health. The goal is at least 30 minutes of brisk exercise daily,” said Lyons. Along with gaining strength and stamina, exercising regularly can lower blood pressure, keep body weight and blood sugar under control and increase your HDL, the “good” cholesterol.

Keep Blood Pressure and Cholesterol in check.
High levels of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol can clog your arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. HDL helps clean out that bad cholesterol from the arteries. Improve your cholesterol by exercising regularly and limiting saturated fat and cholesterol. Limit red meats, full-fat dairy and processed foods with trans fats.
One in three Americans have high blood pressure. Get it checked routinely since it has no outward symptoms. Reducing sodium, losing weight and exercising can help manage blood pressure, as well as blood pressure-lowering medicines. 

Eat Better.
“For most meals, half your plate should be fruits and vegetables,” said Lyons, “Limit empty-calorie foods like soft drinks and junk food.”
The AHA also recommends consuming fish twice a week, like salmon. Dieting isn’t the goal--long-term healthier dietary choices are.

Lose Weight.
More than 60% of Americans are overweight or obese. The AHA recommends starting by knowing your healthy weight range and aim to get there in small increments. You can shed 24 pounds a year by dropping just 2 pounds a month, and losing as few as 10 pounds decreases your heart disease risk.
Use an online calorie calculator to know how many calories you should consume to maintain a healthy weight. Then start enjoying plenty of fiber and nutrient rich fruits and vegetables, adding lean proteins and whole grains. Slowly increase your aerobic physical activity each week while reducing the calories you take in.

Reduce Blood Sugar

Diabetes can quadruple your risk of heart disease or stroke, Manage or prevent diabetes by eating right, controlling your weight, exercising and taking medication prescribed your doctor.

Stop Smoking.
With one in five deaths caused by smoking, going smoke-free can help prevent not only heart disease and stroke, but also cancer and chronic lung disease. Visit nysmokefree.com for resources.


Visit www.mylifecheck.org for more information and a free heart health action plan.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Score a Touchdown with Heart Healthy Snacks for the Big Game


New York teams may be out of the playoffs but that’s no reason to cancel that party! Just don’t sack everyone’s healthy New Year’s resolutions with a party spread filled with fried, fattening or sugary foods. Score a touchdown with a super party buffet full of heart healthy foods to give everyone a healthy option while celebrating the big game! Offering healthy food choices can help people maintain a healthy weight, even when celebrating the biggest game of the year.


First Half Strategy – First down: start off with salad and veggies. Fill up on the healthier foods first then add in a few treats on your plate. Go with healthier appetizers like cut veggies and hummus, fat-free yogurt dips or guacamole made with avocados. According to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating one avocado a day as part of a heart healthy, cholesterol-lowering moderate-fat diet can help improve bad cholesterol levels in overweight and obese individuals. Use baked, not fried and whole grain versions of your favorite chips and crackers. Try low-fat cheeses with whole grain crackers or toasts, and choose assorted low-sodium or unsalted nuts, which are high in good fats and protein.

Halftime Rally – When planning your halftime buffet, throw the penalty flag on the worst party foods like fried Buffalo wings (up to 35 grams of fat per serving), takeout personal pepperoni pan pizza (over 60% of sodium daily allowance), nachos with cheese (30% of your daily fat). Opt for baked, not fried buffalo tenders, whole wheat pizza with veggies and chicken or bean & low-fat cheese burritos in a whole wheat wrap and you’ll still have energy for that halftime touch football game! Try turkey or chicken and bean chili with lots of veggies cooked in and low-fat cheese and low-fat sour cream on the side.

Second Half Plan – Offer seltzer and no sugar-added fruit juice beverages as “mock-cocktail” alternatives to alcohol-based drinks. Alcohol can raise blood pressure and is full of empty calories. Make portion control part of your game plan. Smaller plates and calorie counting apps can help you keep track of the foods you are consuming so you don’t go overboard. Know your portions. For example, a serving of chicken breast (3 ounces) is about the size of a deck of cards and an ounce of cheese is about the size of your index finger. A cup of pasta is the size of a fist and half a cup of rice is a cupcake wrapper-full. For more portion tips, check out www.heart.org/PortionDistortion.

The American Heart Association recommends a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole-grain, high-fiber foods, and fat-free and low-fat dairy most often. Keep total fat intake between 25 and 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils most often. Use naturally occurring, unhydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive oil most often.

Why offer healthier options? Over 149 million Americans, or 67 percent of adults 20 and older, are overweight or obese. By 2015, experts project that 75 percent of adults will be overweight, with 41 percent being obese. Nearly one-third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese and at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Making small changes to diet and lifestyle can help prevent heart disease and stroke, the number one and five killers.

The American Heart Association has partnered with the Walmart Foundation to offer Simple Cooking with Heart, a nationwide program aimed at changing the way people think about food. Try these healthy variations of classic party recipes and get more cooking tips from the American Heart Association and free recipes and cooking videos at www.heart.org/simplecooking .



Game Day Recipe Links:









Monday, January 26, 2015

American Heart Association Warns of Snow Shoveling Health Hazards

The American Heart Association says that for most people, shoveling snow may not lead to any health problems. However, the association warns that the risk of a heart attack during snow shoveling may increase for some, stating that the combination of colder temperatures and physical exertion increases the workload on the heart.

People who are outdoors in cold weather should avoid sudden exertion, like lifting a heavy shovel full of snow. Even walking through heavy, wet snow or snow drifts can strain a person’s heart.

“For people with existing heart conditions like heart failure, high blood pressure or cholesterol, the increased workload on the heart from activities such as shoveling of heavy snow, can put them at higher risk for heart attack,” said Patrick Thomas, MD, FACC, Fellow of the American Heart Association and President of the Putnam County, NY Region American Heart Association.

Thomas is a cardiologist with NYU Langone at Hudson Valley Cardiology, “Before you do anything, check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for your particular situation.”

To help make snow removal safer, the American Heart Association has compiled a list of practical tips.

•             Give yourself a break. Take frequent rest breaks during shoveling so you don’t overstress your heart. Pay attention to how your body feels during those breaks.
•             Don’t eat a heavy meal prior or soon after shoveling. Eating a large meal can put an extra load on your heart.  
•             Use a small shovel or consider a snow thrower. The act of lifting heavy snow can raise blood pressure acutely during the lift. It is safer to lift smaller amounts more times, than to lug a few huge shovelfuls of snow. When possible, simply push the snow.
•             Learn the heart attack warning signs and listen to your body, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1
•             Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol may increase a person’s sensation of warmth and may cause them to underestimate the extra strain their body is under in the cold.
•             Consult a doctor. If you have a medical condition, don’t exercise on a regular basis or are middle aged or older, meet with your doctor prior to the first anticipated snowfall.
•             Be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. To prevent hypothermia, dress in layers of warm clothing, which traps air between layers forming a protective insulation. Wear a hat because much of your body’s heat can be lost through your head.

Heart Attack Warning Signs
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack,” where it is clear what’s happening. But 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 with or without chest discomfort. 
•             Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness      
•             As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. It is best to call Emergency medical services (EMS) for rapid transport to the emergency room. EMS staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. If you can’t access EMS, have someone drive you to the hospital right away. If you’re the one having symptoms, don’t drive yourself, unless you have absolutely no other option.

Heart attacks can cause sudden cardiac arrest, where the heart stops beating, or beats irregularly, failing to pump enough blood. One moment, a person can be walking and talking, and the next moment they collapse, lifeless. They will be unresponsive, not breathing or only gasping. Their lips will start to turn blue and skin will become pale. Quick recognition and fast action is the key to saving a life.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Bystanders can help cardiac arrest victims survive, if they act fast. First, call 9-1-1 and start CPR right away. Then, if an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is available, use it as soon as possible. If two people are available to help, one should begin CPR immediately while the other calls 9-1-1 and finds an AED.

Hands Only CPR is effective in saving lives during cardiac arrest. Hands-Only CPR has just two simple steps. If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse,
(1) Call 9-1-1; and
(2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the disco song “Stayin’ Alive” (100 beats per minute) until help arrives.


To learn more about CPR or find a local class, visit www.heart.org/CPR .

Friday, January 23, 2015

Score with Heart Healthy Snacks for the Big Game

New York teams may be out of the playoffs but that’s no reason to cancel that Super Bowl party! Just don’t sack everyone’s healthy New Year’s resolutions with a Super Bowl spread filled with fried, fattening or sugary foods. Score a touchdown with a game party buffet full of heart healthy foods to give everyone a healthy option while celebrating the big game! Offering healthy food choices can help people maintain a healthy weight, even when celebrating the biggest game of the year.


First Half Strategy – First down: start off with salad and veggies. Fill up on the healthier foods first then add in a few treats on your plate. Go with healthier appetizers like cut veggies and hummus, fat-free yogurt dips or guacamole made with avocados. According to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating one avocado a day as part of a heart healthy, cholesterol-lowering moderate-fat diet can help improve bad cholesterol levels in overweight and obese individuals. Use baked, not fried and whole grain versions of your favorite chips and crackers. Try low-fat cheeses with whole grain crackers or toasts, and choose assorted low-sodium or unsalted nuts, which are high in good fats and protein.

Halftime Rally – When planning your halftime buffet, throw the penalty flag on the worst party foods like fried Buffalo wings (up to 35 grams of fat per serving), takeout personal pepperoni pan pizza (over 60% of sodium daily allowance), nachos with cheese (30% of your daily fat). Opt for baked, not fried buffalo tenders, whole wheat pizza with veggies and chicken or bean & low-fat cheese burritos in a whole wheat wrap and you’ll still have energy for that halftime touch football game! Try turkey or chicken and bean chili with lots of veggies cooked in and low-fat cheese and low-fat sour cream on the side.

Second Half Plan – Offer seltzer and no sugar-added fruit juice beverages as “mock-cocktail” alternatives to alcohol-based drinks. Alcohol can raise blood pressure and is full of empty calories. Make portion control part of your game plan. Smaller plates and calorie counting apps can help you keep track of the foods you are consuming so you don’t go overboard. Know your portions. For example, a serving of chicken breast (3 ounces) is about the size of a deck of cards and an ounce of cheese is about the size of your index finger. A cup of pasta is the size of a fist and half a cup of rice is a cupcake wrapper-full. For more portion tips, check out www.heart.org/PortionDistortion.

The American Heart Association recommends a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole-grain, high-fiber foods, and fat-free and low-fat dairy most often. Keep total fat intake between 25 and 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils most often. Use naturally occurring, unhydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive oil most often.

Chicken & Black Bean Tostada
Why offer healthier options? Over 149 million Americans, or 67 percent of adults 20 and older, are overweight or obese. By 2015, experts project that 75 percent of adults will be overweight, with 41 percent being obese. Nearly one-third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese and at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Making small changes to diet and lifestyle can help prevent heart disease and stroke, the number one and five killers.

The American Heart Association has partnered with the Walmart Foundation to offer Simple Cooking with Heart, a nationwide program aimed at changing the way people think about food. Try these healthy variations of classic party recipes and get more cooking tips from the American Heart Association and free recipes and cooking videos at www.heart.org/simplecooking .

Try these great recipes:


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