Healthy Heart

healthy-heart

FROM THE PARISH NURSE MINISTRY
LET’S TALK ABOUT WAYS TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTHY HEART

Know  your  numbers.  High  Blood  Pressure  or  Hypertension  is  a  high  risk
factor.  Blood  is  carried  from  the  heart  to  all  parts  of  your  body  in  vessels
called  arteries.  Blood  pressure  is  the  force  of  the  blood  pushing  against  the
walls  of  your  arteries.  Your  blood  pressure  is  at  its  highest  when  the  heart
beats,  pumping  the  blood.  This  is  called  your  systolic  pressure  (this  is  the
first or top number in your blood pressure reading). When the heart is at rest,
(between  beats),  your  blood  pressure  falls.  This  is  called  the  diastolic  pres-
sure  (this  is  the  2nd  or  bottom  number).  High  Blood  Pressure  is  called  the
silent  killer  because  there  are  usually  no  symptoms  until  heart  damage  is
done.  You  need  to  have  your  blood  pressure  taken  so  you  will  know  your
numbers.  If  your  pressure  is  elevated,  see  your  doctor  so  that  your  high
blood pressure can be effectively managed.
Ways to take charge:

1. Keep  unhealthy  foods  out  of  sight  and  out  of  mouth.
Keep healthy snacks in front of your refrigerator and cabinets. If you grab health foods
at least 21 times, it will become  a habit. Look for the Heart Association  heart-check mark to help you identify healthy foods.

2. Eat  right  to  control  cholesterol.
Foods high in saturated fats can lead to high cholesterol. Eat foods low in saturated fats, such as lean chicken or turkey, fish, fruits, vegetables, low fat or fat free dairy and eat whole
grains. Shake the salt habit. Besides limiting salt, check food labels.

3. Be  a  Good  Loser.
Excess weight increases heart risk. Take it easy and lose weight slowly, eat 200-300 calories less each day and exercise.

4. If  you  slip,  don’t  let  it  get  you  down.
Forgive  yourself  and  just  get back  to  establish  a  healthy  lifestyle.  Also,  keep  track  of  your  achievements. If you have quit smoking, save that extra money each week and
reward  yourself  with  something  you  enjoy  doing.  When  you  reach  any
goal, Treat Yourself. A healthy heart will be your greatest reward.

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