“Heart disease remains a major concern in our country. The latest research indicates that from 2003 to 2013, the death rate from heart disease has fallen about 38 percent, but the burden and risk factors remain alarmingly high. It is the leading cause of death for both men and women,” explains Tammy Thompson, MS, RCEP, Cardiac Rehab Manager/Exercise Physiologist at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien. “According to the American Heart Association, about 750,000 Americans have a heart attack every year. About 2,200 Americans die each day from heart disease in the United States— that’s one every 40 seconds. Yes, these statistics are alarming, but there is good news— heart disease is preventable and controllable. Knowing your risk factors and how to prevent heart disease should be everyone’s key priority.”
In recognition of February- American Heart Month, healthy living and management of heart disease risk factors will be the focus of a free community education program sponsored by Crossing Rivers Health Cardiac Rehab on Tuesday evening, February 28. The evening will begin with a free light heart-healthy meal at 5:30 p.m. prepared by Crossing Rivers Health Nutrition Services followed by two 30-minute presentations with helpful information to improve your health. There will also be a time for discussion and questions from 7:00-7:30 p.m. The program’s guest speaker is Crossing Rivers Health Clinic family physician Dr. Owen Vincent. Dr. Vincent’s presentation, A Lifestyle Medicine Approach to Metabolic Syndrome, will focus on lifestyle management of the risk factors that contribute to the disorder of Metabolic Syndrome. Additionally, Patrick Stovey and Austin Neis, Exercise Specialists with Crossing Rivers Health, and Tammy Thompson will follow-up with practical information related to diet and exercise.
Evidence supports exercise as the best medicine in the management of health related risk factors that contribute to metabolic syndrome. Regular exercise has such a positive impact on all areas of our health (mentally and physically). Exercise reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, lowers blood sugar in diabetics, helps regulate the use of blood sugar in non-diabetics and has a positive impact on weight loss and weight control- which are all risk factors that are associated with Metabolic Syndrome.
Metabolic Syndrome is a disorder characterized by impaired fasting glucose greater than 110, elevated blood pressure greater than 130/85, elevated triglycerides greater than 150, low HDL cholesterol less than 40 in men and 50 in women and abdominal obesity (increased waist circumference). These risk factors are associated with an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and future cardiovascular disease. They are also directly impacted and modifiable by behavior and lifestyle change. Individuals having a mix of any three of the five risk factors is classified as having the disorder of Metabolic Syndrome.
“One major role we play in Cardiac Rehab is helping patients and their families increase awareness of their personal risk factors and identifying which lifestyle behaviors are most important to that individual,” explains Tammy Thompson. “Eating healthy, establishing a regular exercise program and sticking to it have to be priority to the patient we are working with in order for change in lifestyle choices to occur. Our goal is to help each person create a plan for changing lifestyle factors; such as creating a regular plan for exercise, or providing them with the education necessary to understand basic nutrition guidelines. Changing lifestyle behaviors is not a one size fits all for each person- it is not about adhering to the latest and greatest quick fix to weight loss and heart healthy living. The key to living a heart healthy life is creating an individualized plan that is important to you and one that is realistic and easy to maintain. The goal of our heart month presentation is sure to be full of useful information and captivating with our interactive presentation.”
Reservations are encouraged to help hospital staff plan for the meal. Individuals planning to attend are asked to call Cardiac Rehab at 608-357-2349.