Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Risk factors for heart disease include age, gender, family history, smoking, cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity, alcohol/drug use, stress, and diabetes. Some of these risk factors are within your control and some are not. It is very important to know your risk factors and do what is within your control to keep your heart in good health.
It’s important to know and be able to recognize early signs and symptoms of a heart attack so if you or someone you know begins to have them you can take action. 85% of heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack so recognizing one early can be lifesaving! Signs and symptoms include chest pressure/aching/burning, feeling of fullness, pain traveling down one or both arms, jaw pain, excessive fatigue, anxiety, nausea, back pain, and shortness of breath.
The two biggest behaviors you can control to maintain a healthy heart are diet and physical activity. Engaging in regular moderate aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes five days a week can drastically improve your heart’s health and minimize the above risk factors. Adopting a diet low in salt, saturated and trans fats will also help to improve heart health. Other positive behaviors include keeping your body weight within a healthy range, avoiding tobacco products, and minimizing alcohol intake to one drink per day.
It is very important to take the time to learn the risk factors, signs, and symptoms and to meet with your doctor to discuss what is appropriate for you. Doing so could not only save your life, but the lives of your loved ones.
At Cypress Glen there are several options for engaging in regular moderate physical activity. We offer group exercise classes daily both on land and in the pool targeted for different levels and abilities, but all work toward meeting your goal of exercising 3o minutes a day. As the weather warms up going outside for a casual walk is another great way to work to increase your daily activity level. Cypress Glen is working toward a community goal of 50 million steps and we need all the participation we can to reach it! We also have a fantastic workout room with equipment used for aerobic exercise that can be done seated or standing, as well as resistance and strength-building machines.
Wellness Coordinator Rachel Schwager works with Cypress Glen residents to determine what exercises are appropriate for them and helps to create exercise plans specific to their needs.