February is Heart Health Month, an ideal time for Putnam residents to focus on their heart’s health. Most everyone knows someone who has been affected by heart disease or stroke. It is the leading cause of death in Putnam County and the U.S as well. About 2,300 Americans die of heart disease each day, that’s an average of 1 death every 38 seconds!
“The good news is, if you make simple changes, you can improve your heart’s health,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “That’s why the American Heart Association started Heart Health Month—to get the word out that prevention does work. And it is not too early to start thinking about joining us for the Putnam County Heart Walk in April.”
“Your heart beats over 100,000 times a day, and you want to keep it healthy for a long time,’ says County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “Walking is one of the best ways to get exercise you can find.”
When it’s cold and icy outside, indoor exercise can help you stay active. This includes stair climbing, mall walking and an aerobic routine on YouTube or an exercise video. Other options for staying fit indoors are running in place or climbing stairs. Laps can be done inside your local shopping mall and a speedy one-hour walk will burn approximately 300 to 400 calories. Malls with multiple levels allow the addition of stairs to a workout. For in-home exercise, a workout DVD or a YouTube video is a good idea when there is limited space. Using a jump rope or resistance bands can also be a great addition to a home workout.
Staying physically active during the winter months is important for heart health, and so is good nutrition. Eating more vegetables, decreasing sodium intake, and focusing on lean protein sources are among the top dietary tips. Avoiding tobacco smoke can also greatly reduce a person’s risk of heart disease.
For more information on heart healthy living, visit: www.healthyforgood.heart.org.
For more information on the Putnam County Heart Walk on April 22 at Brewster High School, visit: www.heartwalk.org and enter “10509.”