Heart diseases, including strokes, tops the list of causes of death in America, according to the American Heart Association.
That’s why February is dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the risks of heart disease through maintaining healthier lifestyles – it is American Heart Month.
“In order to maintain a healthier lifestyle, our health and wellness must be a priority in our lives,” said Maj. Lisa Tauai, 435th Aerospace Squadron Health Promotion Flight commander. “If eating healthy and staying physically fit are important to us, we are more apt to change our lifestyles and adopt a healthy way of life far into the future.”
Some conditions that put the heart at risk for disease and stroke are cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, arrhythmia and high blood pressure, according to the AHA.
To reduce the risk of heart attack, AHA health experts say people can modify, treat or control five key risk factors by changing their lifestyles or taking medicine – tobacco smoke, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity and obesity/overweight.
AHA experts also say people should be using up as many calories as they take in, eat a variety of nutritious foods from all of the food groups and eat less nutrient-poor foods.
“By controlling portion sizes, staying physically fit, and making healthy food choices, individuals can obtain a reasonable body weight, which will reduce their chances of experiencing chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure in the long-term,” Major Tauai said.
Ramstein’s Health and Wellness Center offers a variety of classes and programs to help maintain a healthy lifestyle, such as Heart Smart classes for those with high cholesterol, tobacco cessation classes for smokers, Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension classes for those with high blood pressure and classes to assist those wanting to lose weight.
“The programs and services we offer provide individuals with the foundation and tools they need to begin making the necessary lifestyle changes in order to meet their goals,” the major said. “Group classes also help our members in networking with other individuals with similar wellness goals.”
For more information about HAWC programs, call 480-4292.