News & Articles

Hate Exercise? 5 Tips That May Change Your Mind

Try these tips from the American Heart Association to add some physical activity to your life that you may end up liking.

Find your jam.

Instead of forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy, find ways to exercise that fit your personality. If you’re a social person, do something that engages you socially – take a group dance class, join a recreational sports team, or start a walking group with friends. Connecting with your peeps is a great way to stay motivated and avoid working out alone. If you’re more of a lone wolf, running or swimming might be a better fit. And if you’re not a morning person, you’re not likely to get up at the crack of dawn to make a boot camp class.

Give it time.

It can take a while for a new behavior to become a habit, so give yourself time to get into a regular routine. One way is to try to be active around the same time each day. Exercise can become addictive in a good way. Once it becomes a habit, you’ll notice when you aren’t doing it.

Build it in.

Build activity into your schedule and lifestyle so it doesn’t feel like a chore. There are many ways to fit exercise into your life, and it doesn’t mean you have to give up something else, like time with family and friends. Get active together as a family, you’ll all benefit. And if you just can’t imagine life without your daily phone chat with your BFF, take that call for a walk around the block.

Break it up.

It’s OK to fit in physical activity when you can. The American Heart Association recommends a total of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, but if that sounds overwhelming, try adding two or three short activity sessions most days of the week. It all adds up! You could do a quick yoga routine when you wake up, take a brisk walk after lunch at work, and if you commute with public transportation, get off a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way home.

Keep going.

If you miss a day or a workout, don’t worry about it. Everybody struggles once in a while. Just make sure you hit it again the next day. And if what you’re doing just isn’t working for you, revisit this list. You may need to try a different activity or a different time of day. Don’t give up!

Click on the link below for more information on healthy living and fitness

AHA Healthy Living and Fitness


Eat Healthy on a Budget by Planning Ahead

Eating healthy – lots of fruits and veggies, lean protein, whole grains – doesn’t have to be more expensive. If you shop smart and plan ahead, you’ll be surprised at how much goodness you can haul without breaking the bank.

The reality is, many of those ready-made, super-fast, prepackaged foods actually cost MORE than homemade foods. And they tend to have more calories, saturated fat, sodium and added sugars.

So drop the excuses because scoring those nutrient-dense, fiber-rich foods your body needs is easier – and cheaper – than you think.

Planning ahead is key to success.

Preparing menus and grocery lists ahead of time can keep you from making impulse food choices, which often aren’t healthy. With a little planning, you can make the healthy choice the easy choice.

  • Plan out one or two weeks of healthy meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Take a few minutes over the weekend to go through your favorite healthy recipes and map out your meal plan. Update your go-to list as you come across new recipes, and don’t be afraid to try new things!
  • Use a grocery list or meal-planning app with a grocery list feature. This will help you quickly grab the ingredients you need for your healthy meal plan.
  • If your work week is crazy, cook over the weekend and store pre-portioned meals in the fridge or freezer. Now this is a real time and money saver! Just thaw and reheat for hassle-free lunches and dinners.
  • Cut up fruits and vegetables and keep them handy in the fridge, or pre-pack individual servings for when you’re on the go. You’ll have ready-made healthy snacks and meal ingredients at your fingertips.

Shop smart to save big.

  • Knowing how to navigate the grocery store can save time and money.
  • Keep an eye out for specials. Stock up on frozen and canned produce when it’s on sale.
  • Use coupons and join store rewards programs. You’ll be more aware of what’s on sale and able to work it into your meal planning.
  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season. For example, blueberries cost less in spring and summer, when they’re in season. You’ll pay more in the fall and winter when they’re shipped from warmer climates.
  • Skip the ready-made foods and individually-packaged snacks. The convenience may be tempting but it’s usually healthier and cheaper to prepare these same foods at home. So aim your cart in another direction.
  • Buy local at a farmer’s market. The produce may be fresher because it wasn’t picked before ripening to travel on a truck long-distance to get to you. You’ll know where your food is coming from and help your local economy. You can save money by buying in bulk and splitting the cost with friends or family.

Practices makes perfect.

  • Don’t give up! Putting a new healthy routine in place doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t give up!
  • Make healthy changes one step at a time. You and your family won’t feel blindsided or deprived of all of your favorites if the changes are gradual.
  • Involve the whole family. Kids can help with meal planning, grocery shopping and even cooking. Let each family member be chef for a day and take charge of a particular meal. Encourage older kids to make a game of reading food labels at the grocery store. Let younger kids pick out new types of fruits and vegetables to try. Get more budget-friendly tips online. The AHA has got your back in the grocery store and the kitchen. 

Learn more about healthy eating from the the American Heart Association link below.

Healthy Living – Healthy Eating


Life’s Simple 7

Life’s Simple 7 is defined by the American Heart Association as the 7 risk factors that people can improve through lifestyle changes to help achieve ideal cardiovascular heath.

  1. Manage Blood Pressure
  2. Control Cholesterol
  3. Reduce Blood Sugar
  4. Get Active
  5. Eat Better
  6. Lose Weight
  7. Stop Smoking

Over the next few months we will share more details on how to help you achieve these 7 lifestyle changes. Watch for information here on our website in our news articles under News & Information and on Facebook with a link to our blog. We are committed to keeping you heart healthy!


Boomers & Seniors Resource Directory 2019

Your resource for Health, Home, Fun & Living a Great Life!!

Senior Resource Directory 2019


Your heart-healthy recipes will taste even better with seasonal produce

Seasons of Eating

Your heart healthy recipes will taste even better with seasonal produce


Women and Heart Disease

The term heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions, including coronary artery disease and heart attack.

Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a man’s disease, almost as many women as men die each year of heart disease in the United States.

This map shows death rates from heart disease in women in the United States. The darker red indicates a higher death rate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does heart disease affect women?

Despite increases in awareness over the past decades, only about half (56%) of women recognize that heart disease is their number 1 killer.1

Learn more facts about women and heart disease:

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 299,578 women in 2017—or about 1 in every 5 female deaths.2
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for African American and white women in the United States. Among American Indian and Alaska Native women, heart disease and cancer cause roughly the same number of deaths each year. For Hispanic and Asian or Pacific Islander women, heart disease is second only to cancer as a cause of death.3
  • About 1 in 16 women age 20 and older (6.2%) have coronary heart disease, the most common type of heart disease:4
    • About 1 in 16 white women (6.1%), black women (6.5%), and Hispanic women (6%)
    • About 1 in 30 Asian women (3.2%)

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

Although some women have no symptoms, others may have5

  • Angina (dull and heavy or sharp chest pain or discomfort)
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, or throat
  • Pain in the upper abdomen or back

These symptoms may happen when you are resting or when you are doing regular daily activities. Women also may have other symptoms, including5

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue

Sometimes heart disease may be “silent” and not diagnosed until you have other symptoms or emergencies, including5

  • Heart attack: Chest pain or discomfort, upper back or neck pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea or vomiting, extreme fatigue, upper body discomfort, dizziness, and shortness of breath
  • Arrhythmia: Fluttering feelings in the chest (palpitations)
  • Heart failure: Shortness of breath, fatigue, or swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or neck veins

If you have any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 right away.

What are the risk factors for heart disease?

High blood pressure, high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of all people in the United States (47%) have at least one of these three risk factors.6

Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including

  • Diabetes
  • Having overweight or obesity
  • Eating an unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Drinking too much alcohol

How can I reduce my risk of heart disease?

To lower your chances of getting heart disease, it’s important to do the following:7

  • Know your blood pressure. Having uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart disease. High blood pressure has no symptoms, so it’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Learn more about high blood pressure.
  • Talk to your doctor or health care team about whether you should be tested for diabetes. Having uncontrolled diabetes raises your risk of heart disease.8 Learn more about diabetes.
  • Quit smoking. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, learn ways to quit.
  • Discuss checking your blood cholesterol and triglycerides with your doctor. Learn more about cholesterol.
  • Make healthy food choicesexternal icon. Having overweight or obesity raises your risk of heart disease. Learn more about overweight and obesity.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink to one drink a day. Learn more about alcohol.
  • Manage stress levels by finding healthy ways to cope with stress. Learn more about coping with stress.

More Information

CDC’s Public Health Efforts Related to Heart Disease

For more information on women and heart disease, visit the following websites:

Source: cdc.gov


5 tasty ways to tweak recipes for healthier eating

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Want to cook healthier? These 5 tips will help you slice and dice recipes to cut fats and sugars, but pump up flavors.

Most of us have gotten the message: Upping our quota of fruits and veggies, and lowering our intake of salt, sugar, processed foods and red meat is a good idea. But if you’re struggling to master the art of cooking for wellness, you’re definitely not alone.

Nutrition pros have developed many techniques and tricks that can help you modify recipes for healthier eating — and evidence-based research tells us they taste great, too.

These five tips will help you get started.

1. Start fresh, stay positive
Nutrition experts often recommend starting with some new-to-you recipes to launch your healthier eating journey. But you’ll soon be savvy enough to transform favorite recipes into healthier versions, too.

Remember: “Healthier” doesn’t mean “less tasty.” Keep your mind open to experiencing new flavors. Enjoy the process as you experiment with fresh ingredients and create dishes that don’t rely on fat and salt for taste.

2. Reduce fats, sugars and salt, increase herbs and spices
Most of us consume too much saturated fat. But fat adds flavor, so scaling back fat alone is not the answer. Studies have found, though, if you scale back fat and pump up flavor by adding herbs and spices, you can get the great taste you crave.

For instance, instead of 80 percent lean meat, choose 95 percent lean meat. Then, use a heavier hand with the basil, oregano, garlic and other favorite flavors for a really satisfying result.

Researchers have tried the approach with dessert, too. In one study, they cut the sugar content of apple crisp by more than a third, but added an extra jolt of Saigon cinnamon to compensate. It worked: Tasters liked that version just as much as the full-sugar original.

Build up your store of herbs and spices, set the salt aside and you’ve got a solid formula for healthier, tastier eating.

3. Swap this for that
Learn some basic ingredient swaps and you’ll instantly up your healthy cooking quotient. Here are just a few examples:

Heavy cream or half-and-half = fat-free half-and-half
1 egg = 2 egg whites
Garlic salt = garlic powder
Syrup = pureed fruit
Ground beef = extra-lean beef, or ground chicken or ground turkey
White rice = wild rice, pearl barley or bulgur wheat

4. Learn new cooking techniques
Beware the fryer! Eating a lot of fried food has been associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Instead, learn to bake, grill, steam and roast.
Pre-heat your saute pan. Adding cold ingredients to a cold pan results in drier, less tasty food; starting with a hot pan lets you sear in flavor.

5. Stock the right tools
Nonstick pan. Does your recipe call for sauteing vegetables in oil? Using a good nonstick pan, you can usually saute without added fat.
Steamer basket. Many top chefs steam fish, chicken or seafood atop a layer of aromatic herbs or vegetables for moist, flavorful results without adding fat.
Kitchen shears. Invaluable for snipping away fat from meat, cutting up dried fruit for sauces and toppings, or quickly clipping fresh herbs.
Armed with your new knowledge and a few essential techniques and tools, you’ll be able to tackle any recipe, and make it your way — the healthy, delicious way.

Source: Mayo Clinic


Caregivers – You are NOT alone

At Alpine Cardiology we are committed to keeping you healthy and heart smart and our posts have been focused on doing just that. One area we haven’t touched on is the vital role family caregivers provide for our patients and the resources available. Caregivers may be spouses, partners, adult children, parents or other relatives. A Caregiver might do daily check ins on a loved one, provide 24 hour care or somewhere in between. Caregivers are critical partners in the plan of care for a patient with a chronic illness and often forget to care for themselves. 

Caregivers hold it all together, but they also need support and to take care of themselves. As a caregiver, it is normal to feel isolated, at a loss and unsure of yourself sometimes. Staying both physically and mentally healthy can be almost impossible when your focus is taking care of a loved one.

Remember, you are not alone. Others have been down this same path and are willing to share their experiences and insights. The links below can be indispensable as you care for someone who has heart disease or who has experienced a heart attack, heart surgery or stroke. Don’t be afraid to talk to yours or your loved ones doctor about any concerns you may have or challenges you are facing in your caregiver role. 

American Heart Association Support Network

American Heart Association Caregiver Support

Caregiver.org

US Department of Health & Human Services Resources for Caregivers

National Institutes of Health Caregiver Resources

Otsego County Commission on Aging is a great resource for assistance in your community and hosts a caregiver support group at Otsego Haus in Gaylord. Link below for more information.

Otsego County Commission on Aging Caregiver Support Group


How the Heart-Check Food Certification Program Works

The Heart-Check mark makes it easy to spot heart-healthy foods in the grocery store or when dining out. Simply look for the name of the American Heart Association along with our familiar red heart with a white check mark on the package or menu. But not all red hearts you see are from the American Heart Association; look for the AHA name to be sure. 

When you spot the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark, you’ll instantly know the food has been certified to meet our nutrition requirements. It’s a good first step in creating an overall sensible eating plan.

A research study finds that choosing foods that meet Heart-Check certification requirements linked to better diet quality.

The American Heart Association Heart-Check Food Certification Program is designed to help consumers make informed choices about the foods they purchase. The nutrition requirements are food-based and intended for healthy people over age two. The Heart-Check program is not a dietary solution for any particular condition or disease. People with medical conditions or dietary restrictions should follow the advice of their healthcare professionals.

Food manufacturers participating in the program pay administrative fees to the American Heart Association to cover program operating expenses. No donations are used to support the program.


Managing Blood Pressure with a Heart-Healthy Diet

What are the benefits of heart-healthy eating?

Eating a heart-healthy diet is important for managing your blood pressure and reducing your risk of heart attack, stroke and other health threats.

Aim to eat a diet that’s rich in:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole-grains
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Skinless poultry and fish
  • Nuts and legumes
  • Non-tropical vegetable oils

Limit:

  • Saturated and trans fats
  • Sodium
  • Red meat (if you do eat red meat, compare labels and select the leanest cuts available)
  • Sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages

Be sure to work with the “chefs” in your household and plan together for any dietary changes that are needed. When cooking at home, try heart-healthy recipes. When dining out, look for healthy options.


Read the labels
By adopting the habit of reading food labels, you can choose foods more wisely. Watch for foods that have saturated fat or trans fat — factors that can raise your cholesterol. Eating foods that are high in sodium (salt) can increase blood pressure. Generally, the higher your salt intake, the higher your blood pressure.


Look for the Heart-Check mark
With so many marketing messages being thrown at you in the grocery store, it can be difficult to know what is truly healthy. To make it easier, the American Heart Association (AHA) developed the Heart-Check mark. When you see this symbol on food packaging, it means that the product meets AHA criteria for saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium for a single serving of the food product for healthy people over age 2.


The DASH eating plan
As its name implies, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan is designed to help you manage blood pressure. Emphasizing healthy food sources, it also limits:

  • Red meat
  • Sodium (salt)
  • Sweets, added sugars and sugar-containing beverages

In addition to being easy to follow, delicious and varied, the DASH eating plan is proven effective. Download a PDF of the complete DASH eating plan.


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