In the Heart Check program a significant number of participants discover risk factors associated with heart disease, some known and some not so obvious. Pre-diabetes is one of the not so obvious. The good news is you can determine risk and prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes through a healthy lifestyle.
It’s easy at RMH Wellness Center to find enjoyable activities. Check out these options!
To register call RMH HealthSource at (800) 433-4580.
During a Heart Check appointment we discuss cardiovascular disease risk factors, identify barriers to lowering risk, brainstorm ways to overcome problems and imagine health benefits. More often than not barriers surface when exploring ways to improve strength and conditioning.
I like what Kate Lorig, RN, DrPH, Director and Associate Professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Patient Education Research Center has to say, “Health and fitness make sense. Yet, when faced with actually being more physically active, most people can come up with scores of excuses, concerns, and worries. These barriers can prevent us from even taking the first step.” Here is a common barrier and possible solutions:
“I don’t have enough time.”
Short 5 to 10 minute brisk walks daily may be all that you need to get started. It doesn’t take long to improve fitness and the benefit occurs right away.
Combining fitness and fun is one way to manage the concept of “not enough time”. If we like the activity, we don’t notice the time or it doesn’t matter. Kate Lorig suggests, “One might combine activities, like watching television while pedaling a stationary bicycle or arranging “walking meetings” to discuss business or family matters.”1
One of my favorite examples of successfully combining activities comes from a man I met while working in RMH cardiac rehab. He loved watching professional men’s basketball, particularly the Chicago Bulls. During his recovery, he watched every game of that season while pedaling on his stationary bike or walking on a treadmill. With a smile he said, “I imagine I’m out there on the court.” Another example comes from a participant in the Heart Check program. She watches her favorite one-hour talk show daily while walking on her treadmill. “The hour goes by before I know it.”
Perhaps you have come up with ways to combine activities. What are they?
1. Lorig,Kate. RN, Dr. PH…[et al.] Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions. 3rd edition. Bull Publishing, 2006.
Inflammation is a process by which the body responds to injury or infection and has an important role for determining cardiovascular risk.
- High-Sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) is a protein found in the blood that increases during inflammation.
- Testing hs-CRP levels in the blood is an additional way to assess cardiovascular disease risk particularly with those who are overweight, have elevated blood pressure or metabolic syndrome.
- Studies have found that the higher the hs-CRP levels, the higher the risk of having a heart attack.
What is the normal range of hs-CRP levels?
- Hs-CRP lower than 1.0 mg/L = Low Risk for developing cardiovascular disease
- Hs-CRP between 1.0 and 3.0 mg/L = Average Risk
- Hs-CRP higher than 3.0 mg/L = High Risk
If you have have any questions, ask your health care provider. For further one on one learning about your personal risk for heart disease and stroke and how to lower that risk, contact the Heart Check program for an appointment. This service is designed to enhance medical therapy and the relationship with your provider. If interested call 540-689-6000.