Heart Healthy Women

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute! This month we want to focus on heart disease and the ways we can prevent this deadly disease. We often think of heart disease as something only men experience, but it is a problem for women as well. Women often have risk factors for heart disease, but they don’t know it. Join us on Feb 3rd to celebrate Go Red for Women Day and wear something red to show your support for women with heart disease and stroke.
Many things can put you at risk for these problems – one’s you can control, and others that you can’t. But the key takeaway is that with the right information, education and care, heart disease in women can be treated, prevented and even ended. Studies show that healthy choices have resulted in 330 fewer women dying from heart disease per day.

Here are seven lifestyle change suggestions from the American Heart Association that you should make:

Get active. Daily physical activity increases your length and quality of life. If you get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day (like brisk walking), five times per week, you can almost guarantee yourself a healthier and more satisfying life while lowering your risks for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Check out our Walk Around Nevada program to increase and track your daily activity.

Control cholesterol. When you control your cholesterol, you are giving your arteries their best chance to remain clear of blockages. Cholesterol is a waxy substance and our bodies use it to make cell membranes and some hormones, but when you have too much bad cholesterol (LDL), it combines with white blood cells and forms plaque in your veins and arteries. These blockages lead to heart disease and stroke.

Eat Foods that can help lower cholesterol
•A variety of whole- and multi-grain products, such as bran and oats
•Fatty fishes, such as salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna
•Foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables
•Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as avocado, flax seeds, olive oil and canola oil
•Foods rich in plant sterols, such as nuts like walnuts and almonds

Eat better. Healthy foods are the fuel our bodies use to make new cells and create the energy we need to thrive and fight diseases. If you are frequently skipping out on veggies, fruit, low-fat dairy, fiber-rich whole grains, and lean meats including fish, your body is missing the basic building blocks for a healthy life. Check out our Half My Plate mobile app to help you eat more fruits and veggies.

Manage blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. When your blood pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys which keeps you healthier longer. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, means 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. But unfortunately, the scar tissue traps plaque and white blood cells which can form into blockages, blood clots, and hardened, weakened arteries. Come visit one of our Heart Healthy events this month and get your blood pressure checked for free.

Lose weight. 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. Even losing as few as five or ten pounds can produce a dramatic blood pressure reduction. Calculate your body mass index (BMI) to help you determine if you need to lose weight.

Reduce blood sugar. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose (or blood sugar) that our bodies use for energy. Your body makes a hormone called insulin that acts like a carrier to take your food energy into your cells. If your fasting blood sugar level is below 100, you are in the healthy range. If not, your results could indicate diabetes or pre-diabetes. Although diabetes is treatable and you can live a healthy life with this condition, even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. In fact, most people with diabetes die from some form of heart or blood vessel disease.
The following tips can all help reduce your blood sugar:
•Reduce consumption of simple sugars that are found in soda, candy and sugary desserts
•Get regular physical activity! Moderate intensity aerobic physical activity directly helps your body respond to insulin
•Take medications or insulin if it is prescribed for you

Stop smoking. Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. Smoking damages your entire circulatory system, and increases your risk for coronary heart disease, hardened arteries, aneurysm and blood clots. Like a line of tumbling dominoes, one risk creates another. Blood clots and hardened arteries increase your risks for heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease. Smoking can also reduce your good cholesterol (HDL) and your lung capacity, making it harder to get the physical activity you need for better health. Whatever it takes for you to stop smoking, it is worth it! Call our Nevada Tobacco Quit line 1-800-QUIT NOT (800) 784-8669  to get help quitting.

New Year’s Resolution 2017: Be more active

The New Year is always a great time to recommit to being more active and getting in some daily exercise. The recommended amount of physical activity for adults is 150 minutes a week. That may sound like a lot of time, but it doesn’t have to be done all at once. You can break it up into 30 or 10 minute increments throughout the day or week. Everyday activities like gardening, housecleaning, shoveling snow and walking up the stairs can get the heart beating and strengthen muscles. The important thing to remember is to start slowly, choose activities that you enjoy and recognize your success along the way. No matter what you choose to do, doing something is better than doing nothing. Even small amount of physical activity can have positive results. If you are looking for some small ways to incorporate physical activity we have some suggestions.

Download the Walk Around Nevada app. This free app helps you track your physical activity. Complete one virtual lap around Nevada and receive a hall of fame t-shirt.

Get off to the right start by hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and more in a national park. Find a national park near you http://bit.ly/2i5fAbK

Download the Neon to Nature app. Find parks and walking trails in your neighborhood.

 

Healthy Holiday Season to You!

The holidays are a very busy time for many families.  There is shopping to do, parties to attend, children’s activities, oh and guests at your house!  During this busy time, we can often forget about the healthy habits that we have adopted through the rest of the year.  This holiday season, don’t let those healthy habits slip, pick one or two of these healthy habits to do with your family.

-Plan a healthy dish. Use fruits or veggies.
-Take a walk with the family.
-Play in the snow, if you are heading somewhere cold.
-Have a dance party.
-Eat less.
-Get more sleep.
-Skip the soda.
-Eat your meals at home.

Wishing you a healthy holiday season! Enjoy time with your friends and family this week. We look forward to keeping you healthy in the New Year.

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

It’s Thanksgiving this week and that means food, family & friends, and FUN ! Everyone has their favorite dishes and desserts they are looking forward to eating this week. It’s also fun to get together and make memories. And this year make some memories beyond the table with your family and friends. Start the day off with a new tradition of burning a few calories and spending some quality time together. Here are a few ideas:

Instead of watching football this year get the family together to play some football. Hit up a local park and throw around the football or baseball. Play a pickup game of basketball or volleyball.  Find a park near you.

Sign up for a 5K walk/run as a family. Do a little turkey trot before your big meal. Check out this link from the RJ about races and walks all around town this weekend. http://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/plenty-options-thanksgiving-runs-las-vegas-area

Plan or morning hike or walk. Check out Neon to Nature to find a trail near you.

Help clean up. After a big meal there is always a lot to do. Instead of parking in front of the TV, give the host a hand and help put away tables and chairs, do some dishes, or take out the trash. Focus on things that will get you moving!

Take the relatives down to the Strip for some sightseeing. We all know taking a trip to the strip means a lot of walking! That’s okay! Get out there and show them the sights while you burn off some of that turkey dinner.

Have a post-dinner dance party! Crank up the music and turn the living room into a dance floor. Get everyone moving and they will be having so much fun they won’t even know they are being active.

You may not have time to do all of these if you only get together for an afternoon or evening. If you’re with family for the entire weekend there’s plenty of time to try out being active together. All it takes is a little initiative and the fun times will follow.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Talk before you take!

Are you one of the millions of Americans who takes prescription drugs? Do you fully understand all the benefits and risks of the medications you are taking? It is important to discuss the benefits and risks of your prescription medicine before your prescription is filled to reduce the risk of injury. 

Talk before you take!

Here are 4 tips to help guide a conversation with your healthcare provider:

1. Talk to your healthcare provider and ask questions about the benefits and potential risks of prescription medicines you take.
2. Tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you are currently taking—including over-the counter medicines, vitamins, and dietary supplements.
3. Tell your healthcare provider about any allergies or sensitivities that you may have.
4. Read and follow the medicine label and directions

Talking to your healthcare provider before you take your prescriptions can help you:
-Understand medication side effects—for example, which ones, if any, will go away with time and those that may be experienced for the duration of being on the medicine.
-Avoid adverse drug interactions.
-Improve adherence to medicine regimen(s).
-Live healthier, more productive lives.

For more information visit http://j.mp/2dqUrGw

Active Seniors can try new ways to stay fit

It is easy to think that the older we get, the less we are able to do in terms of physical activity. Just because we can’t strap on the football pads, spike a few volleyballs or race around the track like we did in high school,  doesn’t mean we should give up on being active each day. No matter our age or situation, being active is important to stay healthy. Regular physical activity can reduce the likelihood of developing dementia and physical activity can also help improve cognition in adults with some mild cognitive decline.

Just like for everyone, as older adults, it is important to find an activity that you like and are able to do. It doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be as simple as walking around your block. And don’t be afraid to try something new. Often times, taking an exercise class can benefit you physically as well as socially.  Many of the recreation or senior centers here in the Vegas valley offer a variety of classes for older adults. This can be a great chance to meet other people and get in some activity.

Here are some ideas for classes to try:

Sit N Fit: This is a class with a little bit of everything; cardiovascular, endurance, strength, balance and abdominal conditioning. Participants perform a variety of low impact exercises both standing and seated.

Qigong: This type of class will help increase your flexibility and lower your stress levels by holding different yoga poses in a relaxing environment.

Yoga for seniors: This is often a lower intensity form of yoga focused on breathing, posture, and gentle movements. Yoga can improve balance and flexibility, which are both important for a group at higher risk for falls.

Aquatic Exercise: Water’s buoyance means workouts done in the pool generate less impact on bones and joints. This makes aquatic aerobics or swimming a good option for people looking to improve aerobic fitness under lower impact conditions.

Dance-based fitness: During dance fitness classes, participants often need to remember different steps, and in some cases interact with a partner. This offers participants a fun way to be physically active, build aerobic fitness, be social, and challenge the mind and memory.

Tai Chi: Tai Chi is a relaxing, low impact form of exercise that has been shown to help improve sleep quality, muscle strength, balance, and flexibility.

To find local classes check out the following links:

Clark County Recreation and Senior Centers

Get Healthy Calendar of Classes

City of Las Vegas Classes

City of Henderson Classes

City of North Las Vegas Classes

Get moving as a family!

October 3rd is National #ChildHealthDay! One of the best ways to have healthy kids is to keep them moving. Kids often have a natural desire to move, fidget, run, play and jump. And that is good! Help your family move more each day and have fun with it. Think about what your family can do to be active together. Here are some ideas:

•Add physical activity to your daily routine. For example, walk or ride your bike to work or a friend’s house, walk the dog with your children, exercise while you watch TV, or park farther away from your destination.

•Set up a party or other social event with activities that get people moving, like dancing or having a jump rope contest.

•Play with your kids or ask them to join you for an exercise video or fitness game.

•Go to a local park in your neighborhood. Find a park here. Find a trail here.

•Develop a set of activities for you and your family that are always available regardless of weather, such as indoor cycling, indoor swimming, stair climbing, rope skipping, mall walking, dancing, and active games that you can play indoors.

•Ask your kids for ideas. Get everyone involved by having your children choose physical activities for the family to try together.

•Come to Get Outdoors Nevada Day. Come join the fun on October 15th, 2016 at Lorenzi Park 9am-2pm. The annual celebration promotes trail use and outdoor recreation. It also includes informational exhibits, booths, basic bike maintenance checks and activities for all ages.

Free help to manage your diabetes– Care4Life mobile app

It is not always easy to manage your diabetes and remember to do all that is required. We have a new free resource that can help! The Care4life program is an easy way to help you or someone you know manage their diabetes. Using the Care4life mobile app you have a coach in your pocket to remind you to take your medication, test your blood glucose or encourage you to eat healthy. It is like having your own personal diabetes educator!   

Check out this video to see how the app works and hear from folks who are using it.

For more information about the Care4Life program visit Get Healthy Clark County.org

Worldwide Day of Play-September 17th

This Saturday, September 17th, is Worldwide Day of Play. Kids need at least 60-minutes of play each day to stay healthy, and one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to meet this goal is by playing outside. Check out our Places to Play resource to find parks and places to play outside! 

Communities can also make it easier for people to be physically active. Here are some ways communities can promote physical activity for kids and their families:

Work With Schools to Increase Youth Physical Activity:

• Colleges, universities, hospitals, health departments, businesses, and community groups can work with schools to support physical activity programs. Such support can include giving money or equipment or encouraging staff to volunteer time to lead a physical activity programs or events.
• Community organizations can offer after-school physical activity programs at schools, or they can provide transportation to offsite programs.
• Community organizations can support and participate in Safe Routes to School programs, which encourage more children to safely walk and bike to school.

Help People Find Places Where They Can Be Physically Active:

• Find and promote safe ways to walk and bike to school.
• Let community members and organizations use school gymnasiums, playing fields, and playgrounds when school is not in session.
• Encourage community organizations to offer physical activity programs for youth. Community organizations can work with schools to offer after-school physical activity programs and events.

Local Fun Events for the Whole Family!

Looking for local events to help your family get active and eat healthy…and have fun! Check out these upcoming events happening near you:

Choose and Move Festival: Join us on Saturday September 10th at the Doolittle Community Center (9am-2 pm) for a day of fun activities, free and low-cost health screenings, and health information.

Healthy Kids Festival: Join us on September 24th at 10am at the Whitney Recreation Center and learn how to be healthy and active. A day full of fun and entertainment for the whole family with sport sign-up, live music and healthy food tastings. Children will dance, play soccer, see Zumba and Karate demonstrations and learn how to grow their own foods.

Get Outdoors Nevada Day: Come join the fun on October 15th, 2016 at Lorenzi Park 9am-2pm. The annual celebration promotes trail use and outdoor recreation. It also includes informational exhibits, booths, basic bike maintenance checks and activities for all ages.

Farmers Markets: There are several farmers markets around the Valley providing locally/regionally grown produce. Check one out today!

Community Gardens: Community gardens are a great way to expand our access to fresh fruit and vegetables.

Community Calendar: We have compiled a great list of health events that are taking place in the valley. Check them out!