Start living your best lifeTo help people improve their heart health, the American Heart Association has developed a new online resource — My Life Check (www.heart.org/ MyLife Check). The short assessment easily identifies the seven goals for ideal health and notes where a person is on the spectrum, while additional tools and information offer specific action steps to improve the measurements and track personal progress toward better health and prevention of disease.
By: Joan Enderle, The Jamestown Sun
To help people improve their heart health, the American Heart Association has developed a new online resource — My Life Check (www.heart.org/ MyLife Check). The short assessment easily identifies the seven goals for ideal health and notes where a person is on the spectrum, while additional tools and information offer specific action steps to improve the measurements and track personal progress toward better health and prevention of disease.
Most Americans are in denial about their health — a 2010 survey showed 39 percent rated their heart health as ideal, yet 67 percent said they were obese or overweight. Fewer than half of adults know their cholesterol, BMI or glucose numbers. High rates of obesity, diabetes and physical inactivity, remain serious threats. That’s unacceptable.
In a scientific statement published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the association described seven health factors and lifestyle behaviors that can affect optimal cardiovascular health. Improvements in these areas can greatly impact quality of life and lifespan, as well as dramatically reduce the financial burden of the Medicare-eligible population, said Dr. Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, lead author of the statement.
The American Heart Association categorizes cardiovascular health as poor, intermediate or ideal — depending on where people are in each of the seven areas. Ideal cardiovascular health for adults is defined by the presence of these seven health measures, known as Life’s Simple 7:
* Never smoked or quit more than one year ago.
* Body mass index less than 25 kg/m2.
* Physical activity of at least 150 minutes (moderate intensity) or 75 minutes (vigorous intensity) each week.
* Four to five of the key components of a healthy diet consistent with current American Heart Association guideline recommendations.
* Total cholesterol of less than 200 mg/dL.
* Blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg.
* Fasting blood glucose less than 100 mg/dL.
Everyone can strive to reach his or her optimal level of heart health. The first step is to know your heart health numbers — cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose — and what they mean. The next step is to try to reach as close to “ideal” as you can.
It’s simple. Of all the treatment strategies that work for heart disease and stroke, the best treatment is to avoid disease altogether. Prevention should be a cornerstone of healthcare reform, a priority of our state and local legislatures, incorporated into our workplace policies, in our schools and our community environments and a big part of our everyday lives. The American Heart Association is clearly focusing not only on reducing the burden of disease but, importantly, on prevention of disease.
The New Year New You challenge is focused on giving people the tools to make minor changes that will make a major difference in their health — live longer, stronger lives. A healthier lifestyle is one step in preventing heart disease and stroke from claiming more lives.
We’re encouraging everyone to take a big step toward a better life. Within just a few minutes, you can get your personal heart score and a custom plan with the seven simple steps you need to start living your best life. Go to www.heart.org/MyLifeCheck
Team name Business
Charming Chicks (9)* Central Valley Health
Bullish on Fitness (8) Edward Jones
Paradox (7) Kenneth McDougal DDS
Team Tia Tanning (7) Tia Tanning and Well-Being
High Five Club (8) Med Center One
Lallaper Losers (10) First Community Credit Union
Alphagators (8) Alpha Opportunities
Mr. B’s Chamber Chicks (8) Jamestown Chamber of Commerce
5th Dimension /Freebirds (14) James River Correctional Center
Team I.E. (11) Interstate Engineering
Lifetime Eyecare (14) Lifetime Eyecare
Trucking into a Fit 2012 (13) Real Truck.com
KS Krew (5) Paul Behle
Jamestown Ambulance (8) PJ Hardy
For the Kids (10) Jamestown Regional Child Support
Team name Business
Anne Carlsen Center Anne Carlsen Center
Lincoln (16) Lincoln Grade School
Wellness Warriors (34) Jamestown Regional Medical Center
JMS (28) Jamestown Middle School
Jump Roapers (18) South Central Human Service Center
Mighty Montyvators (18) Montpelier School
Sanford (24) Sanford Clinic
Goodrich (32) Goodrich
Jamestown College (28) Jamestown College
Bank Forward BFF’s Bank Forward
*Number of team members listed in parentheses next to team names