Hospital marks Heart Month with Wear Red Day

Hospital marks Heart Month with Wear Red Day

Carlinville Area Hospital celebrated the American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day Feb. 1. The hospital is noting February as American Heart Month and saluting the many hearts saved in the past year.

The hospital will be visiting the employees at Karmak on Feb. 19 to provide blood pressure screenings as well as body mass index screenings. In addition, several pieces of heart health literature will be available as well as displays showing sodium and fat content.

Carlinville Area Hospital provides eight simple tips to get you started towards a heart-healthy life. But don’t forget the best tip — see your physician on a regular basis and work, together, to live a healthy life.

We can do a tremendous job preventing heart disease if we shift toward a Mediterranean diet — with more olive oil, fish, chicken, beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables  — and less red meat and butter.

Exercise is important for your body and heart. Studies have shown that if you walk just 30 minutes, five days a week, it lowers your level of LDL, or bad cholesterol. But more importantly, it raises your level of good cholesterol (HDL).

Quit smoking
Human lungs are not engineered to inhale hot gases. Smokers not only suffer from emphysema and heart disease but also have a higher rate of many cancers.

Family history
It’s important to know your family heart disease history. Studies have demonstrated that approximately 50 percent of the risk of developing heart disease is due to the transmission of a genetic lipid disorder. But it’s not enough to know your history; you need to act on that information. A healthy diet and exercise are crucial, but you may also need to see your doctor on a regular basis.

Get a dog
It’s been shown owning a dog enhances health. Dogs are indeed our best friends: They give us unconditional love and something to look forward to. And dogs have to be taken for walks, which gets you out and moving.

Red wine
The skin of red wine grapes has molecules that raise HDL cholesterol. People who live in Mediterranean countries have a lower incidence of coronary heart disease than in the United States and one reason is because of their consumption of red wine. But don’t overdo it! Stick to one glass a day for women, and no more than two for men.

Dark chocolate
Protecting your heart isn’t necessarily difficult. It’s been found that a small amount — maybe an ounce — of dark chocolate can help protect your heart, as it raises HDL cholesterol.

We need more research, but there is compelling statistical and epidemiological evidence that if we laugh instead of rage, we can extend our lives. Anger and stress spike adrenaline, which harms the lining of arteries. Laughing releases endorphins, which block pain and stress.