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    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | August 26th, 2018


    This past weekend I participated in the American Heart Association (AHA) heart walk with my daughter and over 3,000 other people. The theme of this year’s walk is Life is Why We Walk. What’s Your Reason?  I thought I would use this opportunity to share some stats and information that I picked up as I visited the various tents.

    Heart attacks kill 200,000 American women each year – five times more than breast cancer.

    Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer does every year.

    Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death, for females and males, in the United States.

    What do we need to do? The AHA offers us Life’s Simple 7:

    1. GET ACTIVE – Try to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week (or a combination of both). I say get moving – something is better than nothing. If you only have 5 minutes in a day, then exercise of 5 minutes, just be consistent.


    1. EAT BETTER – Eat a colorful diet, at least 4 – 5 components, of whole grain, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts. I say keep it simple – Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.


    1. LOSE WEIGHT – Maintaining a healthy weight, with a body mass index < 25 kg/m2. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. Learning to balance healthy eating and physical activity can help you lose weight more easily and keep it off. I say, make the scale your best friend.


    1. CONTROL CHOLESTEROL – Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body, which makes all you need, and food made from animals. Keeping your cholesterol in control and under 200 mg/dl is important. I say know your numbers.


    1. MANAGE BLOOD PRESSURE – Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. Stress and poor diet have both been linked to high blood pressure, so it’s important to keep your numbers less than 120/80 mmHg, be well and eat smart to help positively influence your blood pressure. I say learn how to meditate.


    1. REDUCE BLOOD SUGAR – Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose (or blood sugar) that our bodies use for energy. Over time, high levels of blood sugar can be damaging so it is important to keep your fasting glucose less than 100 mg/dl. One easy way to cut added sugars is simply by checking nutrition facts and labels. Nothing more to say with this one.


    1. STOP SMOKING – Not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Smoking increases your risk of multiple diseases. The good news is your lungs can begin to heal themselves as soon as you stop – the time to quit is now. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

    What’s my reason for walking – I want to be healthy so that I can do the things that make me happy.





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