Healthy Living

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In the United States cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of death and stroke is the #3 cause of death!  At Orlando Heart Specialists we recognize that the best defense against heart disease and stroke is your lifestyle and therefore we are committed to education and awareness in our practice and our community outreach.

The consequences of poor lifestyle choices are staggering and it is becoming more and more widespread.  In fact, 65% of all adults in the US are obese or overweight. The rate of incidence and the age at which heart complications begin have dramatically changed in the past ten years and with childhood obesity increasing are only going to get worse.

  • In 2006, Cardiovascular Disease caused 831,000 deaths – 34% of all deaths
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death
  • In 2006, an estimated 81.1 million persons in the United States had some form of Cardiovascular Disease.

Our practice is dedicated to teaching our patients about the modifiable risk factors and providing you with the knowledge you need to proactively take control of your health and ensure an optimum quality of life in the future.

We would like to supply you with some quick and easy tips on the modifiable risks that you can control and take responsibility of as promoted by the American Heart Association:

Get Active

  • By exercising for as little as 30 minutes each day you can reduce your risk of heart disease.
    • To increase physical activity in your lifestyle try: parking further away from your destination, take short walks throughout the workday, or try active-play video games with your friends and family

Control Cholesterol

  • Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body and food. Your liver and other cells in your body make about 75% of blood cholesterol; the other 25% comes from the foods you eat.
    • To take initiative to help control cholesterol: schedule a screening, eat foods low in cholesterol and saturated fat, maintain a healthy weight and stay physically active

Eat Better

  • Vegetables and fruits are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber — and they’re low in calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help you control your weight and your blood pressure.
    • To take initiative to eat better: buy unrefined whole-grain foods which contain fiber that will lower your blood cholesterol and help you feel full, eat fish at least twice a week (salmon, trout, and herring, oily fish contain omega-3 fatty acids), choose lean meats and poultry without skin, select fat-free, 1 percent fat, and low-fat dairy products, aim to eat less than 1500 milligrams of sodium per day and to eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day

Manage Blood Pressure

  • High Blood Pressure is when the blood running through your arteries flows with too much force and puts pressure on your arteries, stretching them past their healthy limit and causing microscopic tears.  Our body then kicks into injury-healing mode to repair these tears with scar tissue.  Unfortunately, that scar tissue then traps plaque and white blood cells which can form into blockages, blood clots, and hardened, weakened arteries.
    • To control your blood pressure:  eat aheart-healthy diet, which may include reducing salt, enjoy regular physical activity, maintain a healthy weight, manage stress: positive self-talk, find pleasure with a hobby/ personal interest, daily relaxation, limit alcohol, and avoid tobacco smoke/products

Lose Weight

  • Among Americans age 20 and older, 145 million are overweight or obese (BMI of 25.0 kg/m2 and higher). This is of great concern especially since obesity is now recognized as a major, independent risk factor for heart disease. If you have too much fat — especially if a lot of it is at your waist — you’re at higher risk for such health problems as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes.
  • If you’re overweight or obese, you can reduce your risk for heart disease by successfully losing weight and keeping it off.  Balance healthy eating (caloric energy) with the (molecular) energy that leaves your body through a healthy level of exercise.

Reduce Blood Sugar

  • The American Heart Association considers diabetes one of the six major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In fact, adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes.

Quit Smoking

  • Smoking by itself increases the risk of coronary heart disease. When it is combined with other factors, it greatly increases your risk from those factors, as well. Smoking decreases your tolerance for physical activity and increases the tendency for blood to clot. It decreases HDL (good) cholesterol.
  • Smokers have a higher risk of developing many chronic disorders, including atherosclerosis, aortic aneurysm, heart attack, peripheral artery disease and stroke.
  • Florida’s Hotline: 1-877-U-Can-Now. The following services are available through the QuitLine: counseling sessions, self help materials, translation for other languages and TDD service for hearing impaired.

It is imperative that, as individuals, we measure our risk of heart disease and actively commit to a plan for preventing it in the future.  We encourage everyone to assess their risk of having a heart attack or dying from coronary heart disease in the next ten years.  One such tool is from the American Heart Association and is available on line at their website, just search for the Heart Attack Risk Assessment.  Once you have taken the assessment, print the results and take it to your physician for a heart to heart discussion regarding the results.

Stay tuned to our website at Orlandocardiology.com for upcoming community seminars and information regarding our monthly radio program where you can call in and ask the physician questions!  Remember, we are the practice dedicated to serving the community by promoting education, awareness and prevention!  Our team of nationally esteemed, board certified cardiologists is available and accepting new patients to help you maximize your health.  We are committed to providing personalized, compassionate care in a professional and caring environment.  At Orlando Heart Specialists, our patients are our family!

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