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Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season from American Heart Association

Free Healthy Holiday Eating Guide Available

 As we prepare to gather with family and friends this holiday season, the American Heart Association (AHA) reminds us that we can make smart recipe substitutions to keep our holiday meals—and the people we love—healthier. Over-indulging in traditional holiday foods can add extra pounds to our waistlines, and increase our risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

More than 60% of Americans are overweight or obese, according to the AHA, so getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is important during the holidays and year round. The AHA recommends making small buteat-mindfully impactful lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease and stroke, the nation’s number one and four killers. Studies show that more than 80% of heart disease can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, exercising 30 minutes most days of the week and eating healthier.

The American Heart Association says the first step is to determine your daily calorie intake with an app or online calculator, then adjust your daily calories into the healthy range. A good place to start is by eating more fruits and vegetables which are low in calories and high in nutrition.

“Many of the traditional foods served during the holidays can be healthy – the trick is to not load on the butter, sodium and sugar,” said Roufia Payman, DT, CDN, supervisor of Outpatient Nutrition Counseling, and diabetes lifestyle coach at Northern Dutchess Hospital. “Add color and nutrition to your plate with seasonal squash, roasted vegetables and fruit-based desserts.”

All of the holiday parties and dinners can throw off your healthy lifestyle goals. The American Heart holiday-healthy-eating-guide-2016-cover-imageAssociation is offering its annual Holiday Healthy Eating Guide to help people navigate the holiday season in a healthy way. The 13-page free guide has tips, recipes and resources to help maintain a healthy lifestyle during the busy holiday season. The guide is available free online at www.bit.ly/AHAHolidayGuide.

Party with a healthy plan in place!
The AHA recommends healthy portions, limiting the empty calories in alcohol drinks and filling up on healthier fruits and vegetables first, before the less healthy options. Keep dessert temptations to small samples of your favorites instead of full servings, and eat mindfully to enjoy every morsel. Don’t stand near the party buffet and avoid mindless nibbling.

Plate-Up Health First
Be sure to pack your holiday meals with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, fish, skinless poultry, and plant-based side dishes and main courses.

Swap-In Healthier Choices
Substitute fat-free and low-fat dairy products for the higher fat versions, like Greek yogurt for sour cream. Use lower sodium versions of foods like broth, canned vegetables and sauces. Use whole-grain breads and pastas instead of white flour ones. Cook with unsaturated, healthier fats, and non-tropical oils. Eliminate trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils. If you choose red meats, select the leanest cuts. When it comes to poultry, light meat is leaner than dark. A serving size of meat is 3 oz., about the size of a deck of cards.

Avoid the empty calories of sugar-sweetened beverages, particularly if you are going to indulge in small samples of desserts. Here are some more tips!

More Cooking Tips

  • Use vegetable oils such as olive oil instead of butter.
  • Use herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves, to flavor dishes instead of butter and salt.
  • Bake, grill or steam vegetables instead of frying.
  • Instead of whole milk or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or fat-free/skim milk.

Baking Swaps

  • Instead of butter, substitute equal parts cinnamon-flavored, no-sugar-added applesauce.
  • Instead of sugar, use a lower-calorie sugar substitute.
  • Instead of whole or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or skim milk.
  • Instead of using only white flour, use half white and half whole-wheat flour.
  • Instead of adding chocolate chips or candies, use dried fruit, like cranberries or cherries.
  • Use extracts like vanilla, almond and peppermint to add flavor, instead of sugar or butter.

Healthier Beverages

  • Instead of alcohol in mixed drinks, use club soda.
  • Instead of adding sugar to mixed drinks, mix 100-percent juice with water or use freshly squeezed juice, like lime.
  • Instead of using heavy cream or whole milk in dairy-based drinks, use low-fat or skim milk.
  • Instead of using sugar to sweeten cider, use spices and fruit, like cinnamon, cloves and cranberries.

Of course, exercise is critical to weight management and overall health. The AHA recommends getting 30 minutes of vigorous exercise on most days of the week. Eating more? Walk more! A brisk walk before or after meals can help burn those extra calories.

To find more simple ways you and your family can eat healthy, visit www.heart.org/healthyeating.

By |November 16th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Knit Hats Needed to Raise Awareness for Congenital Heart Defects – #1 Birth Defect

Calling all knitters & crocheters!!!

The American Heart Association, in connection with The Children’s Heart Foundation, is asking knitting and crocheting enthusiasts to help celebrate American Heart Month by knitting and crocheting red hats for babies born in February at participating hospitals.2017-image-aha-chf

American Heart Month aims to raise awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of American men and women, and Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) Awareness Week, February 7 – 14 focuses on congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country.

The Little Hats, Big Hearts™ program honors babies, moms, and heart healthy lives in a very special way. Supporters knit and crochet red hats to be given out to thousands of babies during American Heart Month in order to empower moms to live heart healthy lives and to help their children do the same.

If you knit or crochet and would like to participate in the Little Hats, Big Hearts project, please visit www.heart.org/littlehatsbighearts online. The AHA is accepting both baby hats and donations of yarn in the Hudson Valley Region!

“Together, we are working to raise awareness, provide resources and inspire moms to take their family’s heart health to heart while also raising awareness about Congenital Heart Defects,” said Lisa Neff, AHA Community Health Director.

Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart present at birth. They result when a mishap occurs during heart development soon after conception and often before the mother is aware that she is pregnant. Defects range in severity from simple problems, such as “holes” between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, such as complete absence of one or more chambers or valves.

The American Heart Association is committed to raising awareness for CHD, and helping children live stronger lives through education, research and public policies. In fact, the organization’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government.

Sample patterns for baby hats can be found on the website. Hats in are needed in both newborn and preemie sizes. Yarn should be red, cotton or acrylic, medium to heavy-weight, and machine washable and dryable, and should have no bows or buttons.

Hats and donations of yarn must be received by December 1, 2016.  Please mail them to:
Patricia Bennett, American Heart Association
ATTN: Little Hats
301 Manchester Road,  Suite 105
Poughkeepsie, NY  12603

Call Patti at 845-867-5368 or email Patricia.Bennett@heart.org for more information.

For parents and families of children with CHD, please visit our online Support Network at http://supportnetwork.heart.org.

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By |October 20th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Join Go Red For Women’s National Wear Red Day February 3rd!

Go Red For Women’s National Wear Red Day® – FUNRaise to Fight Women’s #1 Killer–Heart Disease!

National Wear Red Day® is Friday, February 3, 2017

Why Go Red? Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. Fortunately, we have the power to change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.ladies-in-red

You can help raise awareness and fund the fight against heart disease and stroke by joining the American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 3rd!

By doing so you help support educational programs to increase women’s awareness and critical research to discover scientific knowledge about cardiovascular health.

To join National Wear Red Day’s fight against heart disease and stroke, please complete and return the Wear Red Day Registration Form today! You will receive a Wear Red Day Event Kit containing posters, newsletters, and “red dress” pins, wristbands, or stickers. On Wear Red Day, ask employees, coworkers, friends and neighbors to donate $5 or more, and dress-down, dress in red, and/or wear a “red dress” pin, wristband or sticker to help raise awareness and show support for those affected by heart disease and stroke.

Kits will be delivered from December-February, so sign up early to a jump start on Go Red FUNraising! Thanks for your support! Download form here.

wrd-sign-up-2017

 

By |October 20th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

PCSB Supports National Eating Healthy Day with Cooking Contest

We’re so grateful for PCSB’s support of National Eating Healthy Day, coming up on November 2nd!  Families, schools, organizations and communities throughout the United States will come together to take steps toward living a healthier life.

PCSB Bank has announced its Healthy Eating Community Cook-Off to raise awareness of National Eating Healthy Day. The general public, along with bank customers and employees, are invited to submit their favorite “Healthy Eating” recipes at one of PCSB’s 15 local branches in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, and Rockland counties.

See flyer below for more info! Get free National Eating Healthy Day resources from the American Heart Association at http://www.heart.org/nationaleatinghealthyday 

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By |October 13th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Make Your Food Drive Healthy

Are you generously collecting nonperishable food items to give to a local food bank or food pantry? The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association recommends choosing healthier versions of food items, including some of the healthier options listed below. Share healthy foods with heart!

healthy-food-drive-donation-list

By |October 13th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Speaker Announced for the Go Red For Women Luncheon

The American Heart Association announced Dr. Suzie Carmack, PhD as they keynote speaker for the Go Red For Women Luncheon, set for Friday, October 28th at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie. Go Red For Women Luncheon tickets may be purchased online at www.dutchessulstergored.heart.org or by calling the American Heart Association at 845-867-5379. Email Danielle Schuka, Go Red For Women Director, at Danielle.schuka@heart.org for sponsor or volunteer information. Tickets are $125 each and table sponsorships are still available.suzie-carmack

Dr. Suzie Carmack, PhD, MFA, MEd, ERYT, PMA-CPT is the author of Well-Being Ultimatum, and a scholar, speaker, and strategist in the field of health communication. Her passion is helping others to live more mindfully and actively. She has worked in the health, wellness and well-being promotion fields since 1997, helping to empower leaders and their teams to thrive in their work, personal lives, and in their overall work/life balance. She currently advises the CDC as a change management strategist with the MITRE corporation, a non-profit organization and federally funded research center. She also trains mindful movement leaders, well-being coaches and corporate yoga teachers through her company, Well-Being Ultimatum Education.

Carmack, a long-time yoga master trainer and integrative health and well-being coach, trained thousands of yoga clients and yoga teachers, before launching her own Yoga Alliance-approved program in 2013. She designed and developed evidence-based well-being programs for corporations, and national public health agencies, and has collaborated on national public health campaigns for several government agencies. She has 22 years of experience teaching in higher education, including health promotion, health policy, behavior change, and health communication.

The Go Red For Women event–now in its new fall timeslot–includes educational breakout sessions, a health and wellness expo, and “It’s in the Bag,” a unique auction featuring sophisticated handbags, wallets, and other exclusive items including Broadway Show tickets, signed memorabilia and more.

The 13 participants in the BetterU Challenge, sponsored by Central Hudson Gas & Eleccarmack-video-imagetric Corporation, will also be celebrated at the event. Participants have been blogging about their healthy lifestyle challenge experience at http://blogs.poughkeepsiejournal.com/betteru/.

More than 80% of coronary events in women may be prevented with simple lifestyle changes, but prevention is hindered by the fact that many women don’t realize that heart disease is the number one killer of women—more than all cancers combined. For more than a decade, the Go Red For Women campaign has worked to close this knowledge gap and provide women with tools, resources and inspiration to build a healthier life.

Go Red For Women is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and locally by Signature Sponsors, The Heart Center, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, and Northern Dutchess Hospital.  Additional sponsors include Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, Gold’s Gym, the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, The Grandview, and media sponsors, the Poughkeepsie Journal, Hudson Valley Magazine, and Q92. Geeta Gorwara and Dr. Simon K. Gorwara are serving as co-chairs of the Go Red For Women Luncheon.

#GoRedHV

By |October 10th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tickets On Sale for Go Red For Women Luncheon

The American Heart Association announced tickets are on sale for the Go Red For Women Luncheon, set for Friday, October 28th at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie.go-red-luncheon153

Go Red For Women Luncheon tickets may be purchased online at www.dutchessulstergored.heart.org or by calling the American Heart Association at 845-867-5379. Email Danielle Schuka, Go Red For Women Director, at Danielle.schuka@heart.org for sponsor or volunteer information. Tickets are $125 each and table sponsorships are still available.

The Go Red For Women event–now in its new fall time slot–includes educational breakout sessions, a health and wellness expo, and “It’s in the Bag,” a unique auction featuring sophisticated handbags, wallets, and other exclusive items including Broadway Show tickets, signed memorabilia and more.

The 13 participants in the BetterU Challenge, sponsored by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, will also be celebrated at the event. Participants have been blogging about their healthy lifestyle challenge experience at http://blogs.poughkeepsiejournal.com/betteru/. The women have been working out at Gold’s Gym in LaGrange and participating in numerous health seminars with the intention of doing and learning everything they can about preventing their number one killer-heart disease.

“By the time I leave class, I’m exhausted, but I feel like my body is strong,” said Tina Vaitkus, BetterU challenger from Poughkeepsie on the BetterU blog, “I can do this! I’m stronger every day in fact!  When I wake up the next morning, I’m sore–the best kind of sore that cheers out, ‘your body is getting strong and healthy!’”

More than 80% of coronary events in women may be prevented with simple lifestyle changes, but prevention isbetteru2016luncheongroup hindered by the fact that many women don’t realize that heart disease is the number one killer of women—more than all cancers combined. For more than a decade, the Go Red For Women campaign has worked to close this knowledge gap and provide women with tools, resources and inspiration to build a healthier life. www.goredforwomen.org

Go Red For Women is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and locally by Signature Sponsors, The Heart Center, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, and Northern Dutchess Hospital.  Additional sponsors include Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, Gold’s Gym, the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, The Grandview, and media sponsors, the Poughkeepsie Journal, Hudson Valley Magazine, and Q92. Geeta Gorwara and Dr. Simon K. Gorwara are serving as co-chairs of the Go Red For Women Luncheon.

 

By |October 7th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Volunteer Chair Announced for Heart Walk Event

We are proud to announce that D. Douglas Miller, M.D., C.M., M.B.A., will serve as Executive Champion the Westchester Heart Walk event, set for Sunday, October 2nd at Kensico Dam in Valhalla. The Heart Walk is the AHA’s biggest annual event, raising more than $343,500 for AHA programs and research at last year’s event.dr miller headshot

Miller will appeal to local businesses and community leaders to sponsor and form teams to join the Heart Walk to support the AHA’s mission to build healthier lives free from cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Heart disease costs employers more than $3 billion annually, according to the AHA.

“It just makes good sense for businesses to support this cause, as well as encourage employees to pursue a heart healthy lifestyle in the workplace,” he said.

Miller is the Dean of the School of Medicine at New York Medical College in Valhalla. Prior to his role at NYMC, he served as Dean of Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, as well as Chair of the Health Sciences Council at the University of Alberta.

An internationally recognized cardiologist and clinician-scientist, Dr. Miller has served as a leader in academic medicine and chief academic/executive officer for more than 25 years. His work has resulted in more than 110 peer-reviewed papers and multiple patents, and he serves on the editorial boards of many renowned influential journals.

The Heart Walk is a celebration of year-round efforts by local organizations to create a “culture of health” in the workplace. The American Heart Association encourages worksites to support healthier behaviors at work through the AHA’s Workplace Health Solutions program. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., and physical inactivity doubles the risk. Information is online at www.heart.org/workplacewellness.

Companies interested in supporting the Heart Walk with sponsorship or teams should call Jennifer Miller at 203- 295-2943 or email Jennifer.miller@heart.org. To register online, please visit www.westchesterhearheartwalk.org.

The Heart Walk is sponsored nationally by Subway, and locally by New York Medical College, White Plains Hospital, WMC Health | Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Phelps Hospital/Northwell Health, Northern Westchester Hospital/Northwell Health, Stop & Shop and Fuji Film. Media sponsors include News 12 Westchester, Buzz Creators, and Westchester Magazine.

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By |September 20th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Summer Heat Stroke Warning

The weather forecast this week is calling for hot, hot, hot temps in the 90’s–and humidity. Whatever brings you outside — a bike ride with friends, a jog in the park or just a stroll around the block — it’s important to stay safe when the temperature rises. The American Heart Association offers these tips to stay safe in the summer heat.

Tips for heart patients
If you’re a heart patient, older than 50 or overweight, you might need to take special precautions in the heat, according to Gerald Fletcher, M.D., professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Check with your healthcare professional before starting an exercise routine if you are experiencing symptoms or have a specific medical question or chronic disease. Certain heart medications like beta blockers, ace receptor blockers, ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and diuretics (which deplete the body of sodium) can exaggerate the body’s response to heat, Fletcher said.

But Fletcher points out that it’s important to keep taking your medications —and taking them when you’re supposed to.

Even if they’re not on medications, older people also need to take precautions in the heat.

“If you’re older than 50, you may not be aware that you’re thirsty,” Fletcher said. “If you’re going to be outside, it’s important to drink water even if you don’t think you need it.”

Tips for everyone
Think you’re ready to brave the heat? Watch the clock and buddy up, Fletcher said. It’s best to avoid the outdoors in the early afternoon (about noon to 3 p.m.) because the sun is usually at its strongest, putting you at higher risk for heat-related illnesses.

If you can, exercise with a friend, because it’s safer — and more fun — to have someone at your side. Here are some other tips:

  • Get off on the right foot. You probably sweat the most in your shoes, so choose well-ventilated shoes and look for socks that repel perspiration. Foot powders and antiperspirants can also help with sweat.
  • Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a synthetic fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat and/or sunglasses.
  • Drink up. Before you get started, apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and reapply it every two hours. Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after your exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
  • Take regular breaks. Find some shade or a cool place, stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again.

Whatever you do, don’t throw in the towel, Fletcher said. “Don’t NOT exercise — adapt!”

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:http---prod.cdata.app.sprinklr.com-DAM-261-hot_weather-027d6d50-6600-4f35-a7bd-8895112c08bd-2124490860-2016-07-06 14-51-07

  • Headaches
  • Cool, moist skin
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dark urine

If you experience these symptoms, move to a cooler place, stop exercising and cool down immediately by using cool wet cloths, compresses, and fanning. You may need to seek medical attention.

Symptoms of heat stroke:
The symptoms of heatstroke include (call 911 or the local emergency number right away):

  • Fever (temperature above 104 °F)
  • Irrational behavior
  • Extreme confusion
  • Dry, hot, and red skin
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Learn More:

By |July 6th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

The Top 10 Reasons Men Put Off Doctor Visits and 10 Reasons Why They Should Go

What better gift on Father’s Day than to support the men in your life so they can be healthy? Something as simple as visiting your physician for an annual checkup is a simple, and essential, step to keeping your heart healthy and yourself healthy.

Why, then, do some men refuse to go to the doctor regularly? The American Heart Association shares here 10 reasons why many men skip this important appointment. And, more importantly, 10 ways to counter those reasons and get yourself or a person you care about to see a doctor.

“I don’t have a doctor.”

Step one toward staying healthy is finding a doctor you trust.  But you’ll never know if you trust one unless you try. Check your insuranmen docce company or local listings for doctors in your area. Call their offices and ask questions, or check around online. It’s also a good idea to check with friends and family for recommended doctors.

“I don’t have insurance.”

Everybody should have insurance under the Affordable Care Act. If you still don’t, here’s all the information you need to get signed up in our Consumer Health Care section.

“There’s probably nothing wrong.”

You may be right but … you’re not a doctor.  That’s why you need one, to be sure. Some serious diseases don’t have symptoms. High blood pressure is one, and it can cause heart attack and stroke. (That’s why they call it “the silent killer.”)  High cholesterol is another often symptomless condition. Ditto diabetes. Finding a health problem early can make a huge difference in the quality and length of your life.

“I don’t have time.”

There are about 8,766 hours in a year, and you want to save … two? When those two hours could save your life if you really DO need a doctor? If you want to spend more time with your family, these two hours aren’t the ones to lose. Try some of these tips to find time for the whole family to get moving.

“I don’t want to spend the money.”

It makes more sense to spend a little and save a lot than to save a little and spend a lot. If you think spending time with a doctor is expensive, try spending time in a hospital.Blood pressure monitoring

“Doctors don’t DO anything.”

When you see a barber, you get a haircut. When you see the dentist, your teeth get cleaned. But when you get a checkup, the doctor just gives you tests. It may seem like you don’t get anything, but you do. You get news and knowledge that can bring better health, if you act on it.

“I don’t want to hear what I might be told.”

Maybe you smoke, drink too much, have put on weight. Even so, your doctor’s there to help you. You can deny your reality, but you can’t deny the consequences. So be smart: Listen to someone who’ll tell you truths you need to hear. Be coachable.

“I’ve got probe-a-phobia.”

You don’t need a prostate cancer exam until you’re 50. Even then, remember that your chances of survival are much better if it’s caught early. So it’s worth the exam. But it’s only one small portion of a physical. Don’t let one test stop you from getting all the benefits of an annual physical.

“I’d rather tough it out.”

If pro athletes can play hurt and sacrifice themselves for the team, you ought to be able to suck it up, right? Wrong! The Game osigns heart attackf Life is about staying healthy for a long time – a lifetime.

“My significant other has been nagging me to get a checkup.”

OK, so you don’t want to give in. But isn’t it POSSIBLE you could be wrong? Give in on this one. See the doctor.

When it comes down to it, there are no good reasons not to see the doctor, only excuses. The American Heart Association encourages everyone to have an annual check-up. Don’t wait. Schedule your annual physical today. Your heart is counting on you!

Learn more at www.heart.org/gettinghealthy.

By |June 15th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments