Dear HCCUA Members:
Heart disease and stroke are an epidemic in the United States. Becoming aware of the major risk factors for these conditions can help prevent and control more people from suffering from these ailments. The first steps to reduce your risk are to talk with your health care professional about your heart health, get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked and make the effort to live a healthy lifestyle. High blood pressure and cholesterol are the leading causes of heart disease and stroke. Lifestyle choices include eating healthy, exercising regularly, and following your health care professional’s instructions about your medications all can help reduce heart disease and the risk of a stroke.
What you consume has a massive impact on your heart health. In your diet you should include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, get in the habit of checking the labels on your food. It is important you eat with minimal sodium since too much sodium can increase your blood pressure. Limit foods with high amounts of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Being overweight can also increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. To maintain your body at a healthy weight and to fight high blood pressure and cholesterol, make physical activity a part of your daily routine. It is recommended to get a minimum of two hours and thirty minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week.
If you are a smoker, quit as soon as possible! Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease along with other diseases. You can also support smoke-free policies in your community and try to avoid secondhand smoke.
Many people with key risk factors for heart disease and stroke do not know that they have conditions that could be controlled. It is never too early to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, eating healthy foods and becoming more physically active. These are primary lines of defense against heart disease and its complications.
HCCUA is committed to helping against heart disease and stroke by supporting our members with information to live a healthy lifestyle. We like to promote steady physical activity and heart-healthy living! We believe it is also important for people to come together to tell their stories, celebrate advances in the fight against heart disease and stroke, celebrate the lives of survivors and honor lost loved ones.
As part of your e-Newsletter we have included an article The Importance of Staying Active throughout your entire lifespan to eliminate or lower your chances for heart disease and/or other diseases that can affect you, your life and family.
Kick start the year with some hearty Ground Turkey Bolognese a recipe from Delish.com. The goal is for you not feel that you cannot indulge in tasty treats and meals from time to time. The trick is to find recipes that are healthier and still eat amazing food, which in turn means supplementing certain ingredients, but still as delicious. Some will not even notice a difference!
Kristine Eckardt, Director of Member Communications HCCUA