February is American Heart Month, so show your heart some love.
Chances are you or someone you know has or is at risk of having cardiovascular disease. It’s the underlying cause of death in one of every three deaths in the United States, causing an average of one death every 40 seconds.
Risk factors include smoking, inactivity, poor diet, being overweight/obese, high blood pressure or cholesterol, and diabetes. As a state, Kentucky fares poorly on several key factors. The 2015 health rankings by the United Health Foundation put Kentucky at 39th for obesity, 45th for physical inactivity, 46th for high blood pressure and 49th for smoking, heart attack and high cholesterol. We ranked 43rd for cardiovascular deaths. (Higher numbers indicate a poorer ranking. You can find the full health rankings report for Kentucky here.)
Being a resident of the Bluegrass State doesn’t doom you to a broken heart. You can increase your activity and eat healthier. A simple, painless check of your blood pressure can let you know whether you need daily medication or lifestyle changes to manage it.
But we all know some of these measures are easier said than done. Sometimes you need a little help.
The American Heart Association has a Healthy for Good movement that offers tips, motivation and video education. You can join the Healthy for Good movement here.
The American Lung Association offers classes in Louisville to help smokers quit. Check out the stop-smoking class schedule.
Our Senior Center offers periodic health screenings, as well as fitness classes like yoga, tai-chi, aerobics and line dancing. Students from Galen College of Nursing will be at the center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 15, 2018, and a diabetes support group meets at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 26, 2018.
ElderServe also offers two wellness programs. Our Healthy Habits classes will demonstrate proper nutrition and encourage activities. If you’re an older adult who can’t get out of the house much, Active Choices is for you. You’ll be paired with a “coach” who will help you develop an activity plan and then provide follow-up support and encouragement via phone.
The world needs more good hearts. Make yours one of them.