Knowledge is Power
Knowing and understanding your numbers can help determine your heart disease risk. While there are factors that we can’t control, like family history or age, the good news is we can control blood pressure, cholesterol levels, body mass index and blood sugar with lifestyle choices.
Watching out for these “silent symptoms” can help you spot and correct heart disease before you experience any health events.
Get to Know Your Numbers
Your blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. If it’s too high, your heart must work harder. Over time, high blood pressure can cause the heart to enlarge or weaken. This can lead to heart failure. High blood pressure can also narrow your arteries, which disrupts proper blood flow to your heart or brain and can trigger a heart attack or stroke.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in your body’s cells. It helps your body make important vitamins and hormones. But too much cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup inside your blood vessels. This sticky substance causes your arteries to harden and narrow, which limits blood flow. These blockages can create a heart attack or, if located in the brain, a stroke.
Your BMI is a weight-height calculation that can help determine if you’re overweight or obese. The higher the BMI, the more body fat you carry. You are at increasing risk for a variety of health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea when your BMI exceeds the the healthy range.
Anything above 125 mg/DL falls into the diabetic range.
Why it matters: Your body breaks down food into glucose, which cells absorb for energy. When this process goes awry, glucose builds up in the blood. Extra sugar in your bloodstream is a sign of diabetes, a disease that can harm every organ in your body, while also damaging nerves and blood vessels.
Just Five Things to Nurture Your Heart Health Today
While exercise is an important aspect of your cardiac health and a path to healthy aging, it is equally important to address the entire individual in order to live a full, relaxed and balanced life.
Call a friend or FaceTime a loved one, especially if you are going through a rough patch. These connections can lower stress levels and return you to a feeling of calm.
We live in a beautiful place! There are outdoor options for EVERYBODY, every day of the year. A little dose of fresh air and sunshine makes everything seem more manageable.
Take time to breathe
Practice being still, observe nature, play with a dog, listen to music or giggle with a baby. Find something that pulls you entirely into the present moment and enjoy doing just that.
Add a new fruit to your diet
We have wonderful varieties of fruits in our grocery stores and farmer’s markets throughout the valley. Choose healthy sugars from whole fruits while benefiting from a natural serving of fiber.
Explore autumn vegetables
Winter squashes are full of healthy fiber and they’re a heart-smart way to satisfy the craving for starchier foods during the winter. Check out the fast and easy recipe below for a quick start to winter squash.
Find Your Numbers and Set Your Goals
Obtain your most recent numbers from your physician’s office and enter them in the form below. Then you can select up to three, achievable micro-goals so you can set a course for optimum heart health. The most important thing is to set small achievable goals and celebrate the “tiny victories” that can add up to better health.
We can get you started.
Sometimes we all need a little help to get back on the right path. Cardiac Rehabilitation is available at both our Aspen Valley Hospital campus and our After-Hours Medical Care clinic location in Basalt. Both locations have a full complement of exercise equipment and state-of-the-art cardiac monitoring capabilities. Our one-hour classes meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and provide the coaching, camaraderie and encouragement you may need to progress in your goals.
Contact Jeanne Stough, MS, EP, Cardiac Rehabilitation Manager at 970.544.1119 to learn how you can turn your resolutions into reality.
Quick and Easy Four-Ingredient Winter Squash Recipe
Low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, this recipe is not only delicious and easy to make, but also heart healthy. Give your heart a treat and turn the oven on.