UP Health System Tips for Heart Healthy Living | WJMN

MARQUETTE, Michigan (WJMN) – With American Heart Month taking place in February, UP Health System – Marquette encourages everyone to be aware of their heart health and the impact of their lifestyle on their overall heart condition. One of the most important things to know is the risk factors that could cause problems for your heart in the future. While it’s important to know the risk factors associated with your own family medical history, there’s not always much you can do about it. Joseph Ackerman, RN and Stemi Chest Pain Coordinator for UP Health System – Marquette says focusing on other things you can control is crucial to minimizing the facets of your health that are beyond your control.

“So to minimize those, you kind of have to focus on everything else, like obesity, keeping your weight under control. Make sure you’re eating right, make sure you’re active “Ackerman said. “The other things are making sure you don’t smoke and then monitoring your blood pressure, making sure it stays under control, so those are the risk factors and those are the things you should focus on if you really want to live a heart-healthy life.

UP Health System – Marquette offers a Heart health assessment you can take online. The hospital will contact you to help you schedule an appointment for further treatment if needed. Aiming for 150 minutes of exercise per week, or around 20-30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day is an important part of keeping your heart active.

“It’s imperative that you work your core like a muscle, so exercise and use that as a guide,” Ackerman said. “So if you’re used to doing weights or yoga or flexibility, you know how your arm or back muscles feel when you’re working out and after working out, so you kind of want to so that your heart does the same thing, but in a controlled way.”

Ackerman said that before starting a regiment, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor to make sure it’s right for you and to avoid causing unintended harm. Along with exercise, quitting smoking and processed foods helps minimize the risk of heart attack or stroke.

“A lot of these things are just going to be you know what you’ve heard over and over and over again, but you really have to take it to heart, especially if you have heart disease, because what it does if you stay with that type of diet, you end up with fat deposition or lipid deposition in your bloodstream, and those lipid deposits can potentially block some of your arteries,” Ackerman said. “What if those arteries are around your heart , you can have a heart attack and if it’s around your head, you’re going to have a stroke. So both of those things are important to stay away from, and to do that you have to really watch what you eat.

When monitoring your heart health, it is important to be aware of certain symptoms that indicate the need to see a medical professional. Signs like chest pain, heaviness on the chest, or pain that radiates to the arms, jaw, and neck indicate the need to be checked out before more serious problems arise later. Even less obvious indications like shortness of breath, fatigue, and post-exercise nausea should be monitored.

It’s also important to know what to do when witnessing someone having a heart attack in public. After calling 911, performing chest compressions while waiting for medical services can be essential to getting timely treatment for the person who has had the heart attack. Ackerman recommends studying the American Heart Association Hands-Only CPR Guide learn how to administer treatment.

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