A personal pitch for Heart Health: Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer
By Pete von Reichbauer
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in our country. As one who lost his father at the age of 48 and his brother at 47 to heart disease, I know all too well the importance of this. But we all can make small changes in our daily lives which taken together will help us reap great healthy rewards.
I do not have the power to eliminate some of my risk factors such as a family history of heart problems or that I get a year older each year, but I have proactively adopted a healthier lifestyle that addresses the prevention of heart disease.
Adopt a heart healthy diet and stay active! Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low in fat dairy products is essential. Walking, swimming or adding a few extra steps on our way to work (including taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work) can drastically reduce fatal heart disease. By exercising and eating a heart friendly diet, I manage to maintain a healthy weight which is another key factor in reducing my risk for heart disease. When it comes to heart disease prevention you should know that the risk for heart disease decreases dramatically within just one year of quitting smoking.
Lastly, visit your physician regularly. Health checkups that include testing for high blood pressure and high cholesterol will allow for you and your physician to monitor your heart health and discover potential problems.
Invest in heart-conscious habits in your daily life and you will enjoy a dividend of a healthier life for many additional years to come; moreover, you will have the opportunity to share this dividend of new days with old friends and family!