Show Your Heart Some Love
Boost Your Heart Health to Keep it Strong for the Long Run
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 9, 2012 - Our hearts beat about 100,000 times each day and circulate around six liters of blood throughout our bodies every minute. It’s time to give our hearts a little more support for the hefty workload they perform daily.
“Heart disease isn’t limited to older people and men – even people in their 30s and 40s can have heart problems,” said Dr. Thomas Quinn, M.D., a cardiologist with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation. “Heart disease is also the number one killer of women, regardless of race or ethnicity, but you can take steps to reduce your risk.”
Show Your Heart Some Love
- Fuel it Right – We get it – a side of fries often trumps a side salad when dining out, but limiting trans and saturated fats plays a big role in nourishing your heart. Aim for a well-balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins, and remember portion control! Hear more about the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet plan (YouTube Video).
- Get it Pumping – You don’t need to run marathons to give your heart some activity – but hey, if that’s your thing, go for it! For the rest of us, target at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity. Consider brisk walking on most, or preferably all, days of the week. Lack of exercise increases risk for high blood pressure by 40 to 50 percent. Video: 15 Minute Workout
- Know its Past – If heart disease is common in your family, let your doctor know. After all, isn’t this powerhouse of an organ worth your extra care and attention? Partner with your doctor on ways to avoid developing heart disease. Control risk factors such as pre-existing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol with medication, diet and exercise as prescribed by your doctor. Heart Disease and Genetics.
- Don’t Ignore Numbers – Sure, getting blood drawn doesn’t top your list of favorite hobbies and you avoid needles like the plague, but getting to know your numbers and other cardiac risk factors could help save your life. Really. Keep track of your cholesterol (HDL, LDL and triglyceride levels), blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) and blood sugar levels –whatever your age. Heart Health Numbers You Should Know
- Keep Cool – Stressing out isn’t fun and doesn’t accomplish anything. More importantly, too much stress can raise your blood pressure, which can strain your heart. The Link Between Stress and Heart Attacks
About Sutter Health
Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, not-for-profit hospitals and other health care service providers share resources and expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology.
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