Posts Tagged "tips for a healthy heart"

5 Important Heart Facts

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in News | 0 comments

The human heart is incredible: It pumps 2 ounces of blood in every heartbeat, totaling at least 2,500 gallons daily. It has its own electrical pulse and beats 100,000 times a day. Yet, unless there’s something wrong with yours, you probably don’t give your heart a second thought from day-to-day. Perhaps no one understands this better than Dr. Lee Friedman, a radiologist from St. Petersburg, Florida. When he was told he needed a pacemaker, Friedman realized his heart condition might require him to quit his job, because historically pacemakers weren’t approved for use with an MRI – a common tool used by radiologists. Friedman’s job meant he was surrounded by MRI machines every day. He was also concerned he would not be able to get an MRI himself if he needed one in the future. Fortunately, after asking his doctor many questions, Friedman learned that a Medtronic pacemaker with SureScan Technology had received FDA approval for use in an MRI environment. He got the facts, made the treatment decision that was right for him, and was able to keep his job. Today he works closely with his physician to ensure his heart stays healthy. Understanding heart health and options for treatment can directly affect your quality of life today – and in the future. Consider these five important heart facts and how they might save your life: 1. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., causing one in four deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is higher than cancer, diabetes, stroke and accidents. It’s important to ask your doctor about risk factors and what you can do to keep your heart healthy, including exercising and maintaining a proper weight. 2. Exercising is one of the best ways to boost heart health. If you want to cut your risks of heart disease it’s best to start a regular exercise routine. The Mayo Clinic recommends exercising for 30 minutes on most days of the week. This helps to reduce your chances of developing conditions that strain the heart, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. If you can’t exercise 30 minutes at one time, break it up into three, 10-minute-sessions throughout the day. 3. One in three American adults has high blood pressure. A woman’s heart beats about 78 times per minute, while the male heart beats about 70 beats per minute. This creates blood pressure, the force of blood against artery walls, which can change throughout the day depending on what you’re doing or how you are feeling. If it’s high for too long, it can pose serious health risks. One in three American adults, or 67 million people, have high blood pressure, according to the CDC. A physician can easily diagnose high blood pressure and determine a treatment plan, so it’s important to talk about testing at your next annual exam. 4. More Americans are needing pacemakers; access to an MRI is important. You may not think you’ll ever need a pacemaker, but statistics show that the number of people getting them is on the rise. The likelihood of needing a pacemaker increases with age; however, numerous conditions might require you to get a pacemaker earlier in life. If you are diagnosed with a slow heart beat – also known as bradycardia – you may need a pacemaker. Between 50 and 75 percent of people with pacemakers may need to undergo MRI scans at some point in their lives, so pacemakers that are MRI-compatible may be a wise choice. For additional...

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Start the New Year with a Healthy Heart

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in News | 0 comments

A regular exercise routine is an important component of heart health, yet less than one-third of Americans get the minimum 30 minutes of daily exercise five days a week, as recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA). Nationally, as many as 250,000 deaths annually are attributable to a lack of regular physical activity. While exercise is important for everyone, regular aerobic activity can be critical to ensuring healthier outcomes for cardiovascular patients. Even a little exercise goes a long way. “Just 5-10 minutes of daily running, even at very slow speeds, can significantly lower the risk of mortality among cardiovascular patients,” says Ed Dannemiller, a specialist pharmacist in the Express Scripts Cardiovascular Therapeutic Resource Center. “Simply getting the recommended minimum amount of exercise can help reduce cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke by 30-40 percent.” Ed and his team counsel heart patients about the benefits of regular exercise for a healthy heart in addition to following the medication regimen and other lifestyle changes. Regular exercise has many other benefits for a healthy heart as well, including: strengthening the heart muscle, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, gaining better control of one’s blood sugar and maintaining bone strength. Exercise can also help heart patients lose weight and lead more active lives without chest pain. If you are considering starting an exercise regime, keep these precautions in mind to minimize your risks and prevent an adverse reaction. * If you recently had a heart surgery or procedure, experience chest pain or shortness of breath, recently had a heart attack, or have diabetes you should consult a physician before beginning any exercise regimen. * If you are on beta blockers, anti-arrhythmic drugs and calcium channel blockers, you may have a reduced heart rate and may experience lower gains in heart rates when exercising. Medications such as the decongestant pseudoephedrine, anti-depressants, and thyroid medications can increase exercise heart rate. It is important to know the right aerobic heart rate target to prevent overtraining or under-training your heart if you are on any of these medications. * If you are a cardiovascular patient, high-intensity exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups and heavy lifting may not be recommended for you, so it’s a good idea to first speak with your physician. * You may also need to avoid certain everyday activities that can overly affect the heart rate, such as raking, shoveling and mowing. * Walking, swimming and light jogging are good beginning exercises if you have a cardiovascular condition. But what if you’re already on a work-out schedule? Then keep these useful tips in mind: * Maintain a steady pace and rest between workouts. * Do not exercise outdoors in extremely humid, hot or cold temperatures. Extreme temps can make breathing difficult and cause chest pain. Try mall-walking instead. * In cold weather, cover your nose and mouth when exercising outside. * Stay hydrated by drinking water, even when you’re not feeling thirsty and especially on hot days. * Avoid overly cold/hot showers or sauna baths after exercise. * Avoid exercising in hilly areas because it may cause your heart to work too hard. Closely monitor your heart rate with your target rate in mind. * Stop exercising if you experience pain, dizziness, shortness of breath or excessive fatigue. Consult your physician. * Stop the activity in the event of a rapid or irregular heartbeat. Check your pulse after 15 minutes of rest and consult your physician if the rate is still higher than 100-120 beats per minute. A regular exercise routine, along with adherence to the medication regimen, can put you on the...

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