Staying healthy as you start 2014:
Consider a healthy weight for yourself, increasing your activity level, decreasing your cholesterol number, decreasing your blood pressure and decreasing / quitting tobacco use.
Blood Pressure (B/P): High blood pressure can almost always be prevented, so follow these steps even if you do not have high blood pressure. If you do have high blood pressure, you and your health care provider need to work together as a team to reduce it by establishing a B/P goal, a plan and a timetable to meet your goal.
· Maintaining a healthy weight: Losing even 10 pounds can lower your B/P. Losing weight has the biggest effect on those who are overweight and already have high B/P. The DASH eating plan is an example that may help to manage B/P by selecting foods that are low in saturated and total fat, and cholesterol. It is high in fruits and vegetables, and low fat dairy foods. It includes whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts, and has low amounts of fats, red meats, sweets, and sugared beverages. It is also high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as protein and fiber. Eating foods lower in salt and sodium also can reduce blood pressure.
· Be physically active: All you need is 30 minutes of moderate level physical activities on most days of the week. You can even divide the 30 minutes into shorter periods of at least 10 minutes each. Check with your doctor if you have heart trouble or have had a heart attack, if you are over age 50 and are not used to moderate level physical activity, if you have a family history of heart disease at an early age, or if you have any other serious health problem.
· Drink alcohol only in moderation.
· Have your B/P checked and logged on a regular basis.
· Take your B/P prescribed medications as directed.
Cholesterol: Your blood cholesterol level has a lot to do with your chances of getting heart disease. High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. You can lower your cholesterol with therapeutic lifestyle changes:
- Eat a low saturated fat, low cholesterol eating plan that calls for less than 7% of calories from saturated fat and less than 200mg of dietary cholesterol per day.
- Manage your weight – losing weight if you are overweight can help lower LDL and is especially important for those with a cluster of risk factors that includes high triglyceride and / or low HDL levels and being overweight with a large waist measurement (more than 40 inches for men and more than 35 inches for women.
- Get regular physical activity of thirty minutes on most, if not all days. It can help raise your high density lipids (HDL) and lower your low density lipids (LDL) and is especially important for those who are overweight with a large waist measurement.
- Quitting smoking today will help reduce your LDL.
- Follow your medication treatment as prescribed by your doctor
Consider joining RFGH’s Weigh to Go weight management program. Our eight week classes are taught by RFGH dietitians and other health professionals. The agenda includes keys to success, weight loss goals, a plan for healthy eating, self assessment, meal planning, portion control, label reading, healthy cooking, baking and recipe modifications, getting excited about exercise, pre-diabetes, and much more! Call our Community Health Educator at 858-2318 for more information or to register. The January 2014 class will start son Monday, January 13th. Choose either 10 am – 11 am or 5 – 6 pm. RFGH also offers a program for individuals who want to lose 100 lbs or more called “Road to Wellness”. This program is held on Mondays for 8 weeks starting on Monday, January 13th from 2:30 – 3:30 pmk. Call 858-2318 for either of these classes.