Tag Archives: physical activty

HEART HEALTH

7 Keys to a Healthy Heart

February is Heart Health Month and Valentine’s Day, so let’s explore the heart and how we can keep ours healthy.

First, I suggest reviewing a previous post  about the HEART’S  anatomy and how it works.

diagram of the human heart

Heart diseases affect any and sometimes multiple parts of the heart- the atria, ventricles, the valves, the aorta, the pulmonary artery and veins, the walls and the coronary arteries (not shown in this diagram. )

At  this post we looked at ways the HEART can “break”.

7 important forms of HEART DISEASE.

  1. Congenital heart disease (problems present at birth)
  2. Cardiomyopathy- disease of the heart muscle
  3. Coronary artery disease/myocardial infarction ( heart attack)- the most common cause of death in the United States
  4. Congestive heart failure
  5. Sudden cardiac death
  6. Arrhythmia-irregular heart beats
  7. Hypertension- high blood pressure
EKG tracing

In sudden cardiac death, the heart stops beating abruptly

Now we’ll look at protecting our HEARTS from disease, disability and death. 

The first step is knowing what increases  your risk of developing HEART disease. There are

7 important risk factors for heart disease 

  1. smoking
  2. hypertension
  3. excess body weight
  4. sedentary lifestyle, too little physical activity
  5. high blood fats (cholesterol)
  6. high blood sugar (glucose)
  7. poor nutrition

complications of high blood pressure

There are other risk factors that cannot be changed. These include

  • Gender– unfortunately males are somewhat more at risk, especially at younger ages.
  • Age– our risk increases as our age does.
  • Ethnicity– some ethnic groups have a higher risk. In the United States these are African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics.
  • Family history– This means a close relative, like a parent or sibling, who developed heart disease young, or less than 50 years old.

Recognizing that you may have a heart problem can be the first step to getting effective treatment. Here are

7 symptoms that may indicate a heart problem

  1. Chest pain– this is probably the most recognized heart disease symptoms, but is not unique to heart disease, nor is it always found in heart disease.
  2. Shortness of breath– especially if it occurs with minimal exertion, or if you find you have less tolerance for exertion.
  3. Palpitations– this means feeling like your heart is beating too fast, too hard, or at irregular intervals.
  4. Fatigue- especially if out of proportion to physical activity, if you tire more easily or quickly, or seem to have less energy than in the past
  5. Unexplained weight gain or swelling in the feet and legs
  6. Dizziness or lightheadedness when standing or walking, especially after exertion.
  7. Syncope, the medical term for fainting or passing out, especially if no other obvious cause (some people know they faint at the sight of blood, or with certain smells; that form of fainting is usually harmless, unless injured from falling)

 

 

Keeping our HEARTS healthy involves doing what we can to change the first 7 risk factors I mentioned, what doctors often call the modifiable risk factors.

  1. Stop smoking– consider these  7 surprising reasons to be smoke free
  2. Control your weight– achieve  and stay at a healthy weight.6 steps to losing weight and gaining hope
  3. Be screened for diabetes and high cholesterol; if found, manage with your doctor’s supervision .10 Silent Signs of Diabetes
  4. Get more active, do some physical activity on a regular basis.Health lessons from the Women’s World Cup
  5. Eat less junk food,make healthier food choices. Learn easy ways to shop healthier from the American Heart Association
  6. Have your blood pressure checked regularly (ask your doctor how often). If you have hypertension,  follow your doctor’s management plan, which may include medication. Learn more from FamilyDoctor.org 
  7. Control and manage stress. Medical studies suggest that emotional stress can bring on cardiovascular disease. You can learn more from Dr. James Marroquin’s fascinating post.

 

 

 

Please share this post with your friends on social media. Have a HEART and help them keep theirs healthy too. Thank you.

Always exploring and sharing the HEART of health.7 Keys to a Healthy Heart-Watercress Words.com               Dr. Aletha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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glass building with words TEAM USA

Life lessons from Team USA

This month on my social media sites I’ve focussed on health and medical agencies of the United States government, in honor of  our July 4th Independence Day celebration . In this post I want to highlight Team USA, the Olympic and Paralympic athletic organization.

Did you know Team USA is not  a government organization or agency? According to the United States Olympic Committee  (USOC) website, Team USA is

“a federally chartered nonprofit corporation and does not receive federal financial support (other than for select Paralympic military programs). Unlike most other nations, the United States does not have a sports ministry.”

“The USOC has two primary responsibilities in its oversight of Olympic and Paralympic sport in the United States.

  1. to generate resources in support of its mission, which is to help American athletes achieve sustained competitive excellence.
  2. to ensure organizational resources are wisely and effectively used to that end.”

I toured the United States Olympic Training facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Both Olympic and Paralympic athletes train and live here.The facilities are state of the art, modern and open to the public for visits and tours.

In this post I’m sharing my tour with you.

The Ancient Olympic GAmes sign

brief history of the Olympic Games

 

 

As much as I admire the elite athletes who comprise the Olympic team, the Paralympic athletes captivate my imagination.

 

These athletes  compete with, not  despite, significant physical impairments. Many of them play and compete in physically demanding sports without full use of their arms and legs; some don’t even have all of their arms and legs.

As we walked around the complex on a guided tour, I was reminded of the importance of physical activity for our physical and mental health.  Although there is a lot of conflicting advice on preventive health, all experts agree that physical activity is vital to achieving and maintaining optimal health and well being.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans call for

moderate-intensive physical activity for 150 minutes or more per week,

vigorous-intensity activity for at least 75 minutes per week, or

an equivalent combination of the 2, and

engaging in muscle strengthening activity at least twice per week.

 

  • Medical studies show that exercise can prevent or improve many chronic health conditions and lack of exercise contributes to many diseases.
  • Physical activity may reduce the risk of cancers of the breast, colon, uterus, prostate and pancreas.
  • Regular exercise may help prevent diabetes and heart disease.
  • Exercise relieves joint and back pain due to arthritis.
  • Depression is improved with physical activity .

 

As we walked through the  USA Shooting area I picked up a flyer titled “Winning Attitudes”, which I’m using as captions for  my photos. I hope they will encourage you to develop a “winning attitude” in all areas of your life.

Enjoy this brief tour through the Olympic Complex and if you go to Colorado Springs, be sure and visit; the cost is reasonable and worth the price.

Become excited, confident, and enthusiastic about your goals.

 

statue of four athletes jumping

 

 

True confidence is based on the thoroughness of preparation. 

Olympic work out room

 

 

 

 

 

Winners have the ability to look inside themselves and find that special dream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winners focus on solutions, not problems.

wheelchairs

wheelchairs adapted for playing

 

 

 

Winners have positive attitudes in all elements of their lives. The more you think about, talk about, and write about a thing happening, the greater the certainty of that thing happening.

vehicle

on display in the Hall of Fame

 

 

 

Goals should identify minimum performance levels. They should never limit your performance.

swimming pool

a real “olympic sized” swimming pool

 

 

 

Real winners are champions in life, not just in sports.

two champion athletes

Runner Tyson Gay and gymnast Mary Lou Retton in the Hall of Fame

 

 

 

Missing a goal means setting another goal to strive for.

gym

multi use gymnasium

 

 

A champion constantly learns and improves.

practice

words to train by and live by

C

 

 

Champions are willing to risk a little in the short run to gain an advantage in the long run.

Winners have the ability to look inside themselves and find that special dream. 

 

 

Excellence is achieved only through constant pursuit. 

DSCN1135

passing the torch

 

A champion constantly learns and improves .

housing.

The athletes live, eat, and sleep here.

 

 

Real winners are champions in life, not just sports. 

statue of four athletes raising arms

 

Don’t just achieve your goals; strive to exceed your goals. 

 

bronze statue, ice skater

 Are YOU a CHAMPION? 

Which of these “winning attitudes” do you live by? Which do you need to adopt?

statues of runners passing a torch

From Colorado Springs to Rio -the Olympic Games in Tuesday Travels

 

 

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games occur in Rio de Janeiro,  Brazil next month.

This reminds me of my visit to the United States Olympic Training facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Both Olympic and Paralympic athletes train and live here.The facilities are state of the art, modern and open to the public for visits and tours.

I told you about my visit last year, so here is a recap of that post with some additional photos .

The Ancient Olympic GAmes sign

brief history of the Olympic Games

 

As much as I admire the elite athletes who comprise the Olympic team, the Paralympic athletes captivate my imagination.

These are athletes who compete with, not necessarily despite, significant physical impairments; but to call them “disabled” does them an injustice. Many of them play and compete in physically demanding sports without full use of their arms and legs; some don’t even have all of their arms and legs.

As we walked around the complex on a guided tour, I was reminded of the importance of physical activity for our physical and mental health, and made a note to remind you too.  Almost no one will disagree with the recommendation to include and increase physical activity in our daily lives.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans call for

moderate-intensive physical activity for 150 minutes or more per week,

vigorous-intensity activity for at least 75 minutes per week, or

an equivalent combination of the 2, and

engaging in muscle strengthening activity at least twice per week.

 

  • Medical studies show that exercise can prevent or improve many chronic health conditions and lack of exercise contributes to many diseases.
  • Physical activity may reduce the risk of cancers of the breast, colon, uterus, prostate and pancreas.
  • Regular exercise may help prevent diabetes and heart disease.
  • Exercise can relieve joint and back pain due to arthritis.
  • Depression is treated with physical activity successfully

 

As we walked through the  USA Shooting area I picked up a flyer titled “Winning Attitudes”. I liked what it said so I am using some of the ideas to illustrate my photos. I hope they will encourage you to develop a “winning attitude” in all areas of your life.

Enjoy this brief tour through the Olympic Complex and if you go to Colorado Springs, be sure and visit; the cost is reasonable and worth the price.

Become excited, confident, and enthusiastic about your goals.

 

statue of four athletes jumping

 

 

True confidence is based on the thoroughness of preparation. 

Olympic work out room

 

 

 

 

 

Winners have the ability to look inside themselves and find that special dream.

“Olympic Strength” statue- four athletes supporting the world with a figure skater beside them

 

Winners focus on solutions, not problems.

wheelchairs

wheelchairs adapted for playing

 

 

Winners have positive attitudes in all elements of their lives. The more you think about, talk about, and write about a thing happening, the greater the certainty of that thing happening.

vehicle

on display in the Hall of Fame

 

 

Goals should identify minimum performance levels. They should never limit your performance.

swimming pool

a real “olympic sized” swimming pool

 

 

Real winners are champions in life, not just in sports.

two champion athletes

Runner Tyson Gay and gymnast Mary Lou Retton in the Hall of Fame

 

 

Missing a goal means setting another goal to strive for.

gym

multi use gymnasium

 

A champion constantly learns and improves.

practice

words to train by and live by

C

 

 

Champions are willing to risk a little in the short run to gain an advantage in the long run.

2 athletes

2 athletes hard at work

Winners have the ability to look inside themselves and find that special dream. 

be a champion.

I may not be a competitive athlete, but I will stay as active as possible as long as possible.

man standing next to hockey players

Look out Raymond!

 

A champion constantly learns and improves .

DSCN1135

passing the torch

Excellence is achieved only through constant pursuit. 

housing.

The athletes live, eat, and sleep here.

 

Real winners are champions in life, not just sports. 

statue of four athletes raising arms

 

 

 

 

Are YOU a CHAMPION? 

Health lessons from the Women’s World Cup

I watched the final game of the Women’s World Cup between Japan and the United States.  Tuning in a few minutes late I was stunned to see I  missed the first 2 goals! Believe me, I paid attention the rest of the game and was not disappointed. I admired the skill, talent and energy of both teams and with other Americans cheered the United States team’s victory  clinching the world champion title 5-2.

Besides enjoying the action I was more impressed by  the class and grace demonstrated by both teams as winners and as losers. That is the greatest lesson we can teach children and I hope parents used that as a “teachable moment”.

2015-07-06 08.02.56

I observed the superb fitness level of these and the other participants in the World Cup. Running up and down a field , kicking a ball and outmaneuvering opponents for 90 minutes is exhausting, but they made it look almost easy.  We can’t all be world class athletes  but we can be physically active in some way.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend 

  • moderate-intensive physical activity for 150 minutes or more per week

  • vigorous-intensity activity for at least 75 minutes per week

  • engaging in muscle strengthening activity at least twice per week.

 

Medical studies show that exercise can prevent or improve many chronic health conditions and lack of exercise contributes to many diseases.

  • Physical activity may reduce the risk of cancers of the breast, colon, uterus, prostate and pancreas.

  • Regular exercise may help prevent diabetes and heart disease.

  • Exercise can relieve joint and back pain due to arthritis.

  • Depression is treated with physical activity successfully

 

With proper guidance, anyone can perform some exercise or other physical activity regularly. I stay active with walking, bicycling, ballroom dancing, gardening and have recently tried yoga

 

ballroom dancing

dancing in a competition with my pro instructor

I have more energy and stamina when I am active regularly, and get sluggish if I don’t.

What do you do to stay active, fit and moving? please share and encourage someone else.

More information here

Physical Activity Basics from the CDC