St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital Wins Heart Trophy

The American Heart Association (AHA) announced St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) the winner of the Heart Walk 2018 “Crothall Healthcare Hospital Cup.” The cup is presented annually by the AHA to the hospital that raises the most funds to fight heart disease and stroke through participation in the TriCounty Heart Walk.

St. Luke’s beat out Orange Regional Medical Center this year, raising more than $10,000 for the American Heart Association. The friendly competition challenged local hospitals’ staff, patients and their families to support the mission of the American Heart Association (AHA). St. Luke’s recruited employees, friends and family members to walk and raise money to support the AHA’s heart disease awareness and prevention programs as well as life-saving heart and stroke research. The AHA is the largest non-governmental source of cardiovascular research funding in the U.S.

Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and stroke is number five. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, too—it kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. Thankfully, more than 80% of heart disease incidence can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, eating healthier and walking 30 minutes most days of the week.

“We are incredibly proud to earn the hospital cup,” said Joseph Surace, 2018 Tri-County Heart Walk Chair and SLCH Vice President of Operations. “Collectively, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital is committed to the American Heart Association’s vision of improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans. We are proud to provide high quality cardiac care to the communities we serve and stand together with the AHA to make an impact. We’re even more excited about what we can accomplish in 2019.”

“Thousands of heart and stroke patients are treated and cared for at regional hospitals, so local hospital staff members are committed to supporting American Heart Association prevention programs and research to improve the lives of their neighbors,” said JoAnn Parker, AHA Heart Walk Director, “We’re so grateful for their support and friendly competitiveness for a good cause!”

This year’s Heart Walk is set for Sunday, May 5th at Harriman State Park. Registration is open online at www.tricountheartwalk.org. Events like the Heart Walk get people walking as part of the AHA’s year-round Healthy For Good campaign to create a culture of health at home, at work and in the community.

For Heart Walk team and sponsor information, please call Jo Ann Parker at 845-542-4580 or email joann.parker@heart.org. The Heart Walk is sponsored locally by Healthy For Good Sponsor Orange Regional Medical Center; National Walking Day and Kickoff Sponsor NicePak/PDI; Stroke Warning Signs Sponsor, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital; local sponsors, Holt Construction, Walden Savings Bank, Crystal Run Healthcare, Orange Bank and Trust, Crothall Healthcare, Cardiovascular Institute; and media sponsors Nicki Jones Agency, Lamar Advertising, Hudson Valley Magazine and Now 97.7.

Score a Touchdown with Heart Healthy Snacks for the Game

The big game needs big plans for healthy snacks! Don’t sack everyone’s healthy New Year’s resolutions with a party spread filled with fried, fattening or sugary foods. Score a touchdown with a super party buffet full of heart healthy foods to give everyone a healthy option while celebrating the big game! Offering healthy food choices can help people maintain a healthy weight, even when celebrating the biggest game of the year.

First Half Strategy – First down: start off with salad and veggies. Fill up on the healthier foods first then add in a few treats on your plate. Go with healthier appetizers like cut veggies and hummus, fat-free yogurt dips or

guacamole made with avocados. According to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating one avocado a day as part of a heart healthy, cholesterol-lowering moderate-fat diet can help improve bad cholesterol levels in overweight and obese individuals. Use baked, not fried and whole grain versions of your favorite chips and crackers. Try low-fat cheeses with whole grain crackers or toasts, and choose assorted low-sodium or unsalted nuts, which are high in good fats and protein.

Halftime Rally – When planning your halftime buffet, throw the penalty flag on the worst party foods like fried Buffalo wings (up to 35 grams of fat per serving), takeout personal pepperoni pan pizza (over 60% of sodium daily allowance), nachos with cheese (30% of your daily fat). Opt for baked,

not fried buffalo tenders, whole wheat pizza with veggies and chicken or bean & low-fat cheese burritos in a whole wheat wrap and you’ll still have energy for that halftime touch football game! Try turkey or chicken and bean chili with lots of veggies cooked in and low-fat cheese and low-fat sour cream on the side.

Second Half Plan – Offer seltzer and no sugar-added fruit juice beverages as “mock-cocktail” alternatives to alcohol-based drinks. Alcohol can raise

blood pressure and is full of empty calories. Make portion control part of your game plan. Smaller plates and calorie counting apps can help you keep track of the foods you are consuming so you don’t go overboard. Know your portions. For example, a serving of chicken breast (3 ounces) is about the size of a deck of cards and an ounce of cheese is about the size of your index finger. A cup of pasta is the size of a fist and half a cup of rice is a cupcake wrapper-full.

The American Heart Association recommends a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole-grain, high-fiber foods, and fat-free and low-fat dairy most often. Keep total fat intake between 25 and 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils most often. Use naturally occurring, un-hydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive oil most often.

Why offer healthier options? In the US, the prevalence of obesity among adults increased from 1999 to 2000 through 2013 to 2014 from 30.5% to 37.7%. Nearly one-third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese and at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Making small changes to diet and lifestyle can help prevent heart disease and stroke, the number one and five killers.

The American Heart Association has partnered with the Walmart Foundation to offer Simple Cooking with Heart, a nationwide program aimed at changing the way people think about food. Try these healthy variations of classic party recipes and get more cooking tips from the American Heart Association and free recipes and cooking videos at www.heart.org/simplecooking.

By |January 31st, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

American Heart’s CycleNation Returns Feb. 28

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) will hold their 2nd annual indoor cycling “CycleNation” event at Sportsplex Fitness in New Windsor on Thursday, February 28th. The goal of the event is to encourage Hudson Valley residents to use cycling to improve heart and brain health, while raising funds to continue the AHA/ASA’s vital community programs, research and advocacy efforts to end heart disease and stroke.

Riders will pedal to high-energy music and inspirational instructors in this 2-hour relay-style event. Each bike has up to five riders who ride a “relay” style race against other teams. Several local organizations are sponsoring the event, including: Holt Construction/After-Party Sponsor; Orange Regional Medical Center/Wipe Out Stroke Sponsor; Popcorners/Refueling Station Sponsor; and Bike Sponsors: Lynn Warren Landscaping, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, Mobile Life Support Services, Healey Brothers, Jacobowitz & Gubits, Health and Wellness Partners, Orange Bank & Trust Company, and Medicine Chest Pharmacy.

Team honors will be awarded for fundraising, spirit and total distance. Teams often wear matching t-shirts and have cheering sections to inspire their teams. The event goal is $50,000. Funds raised will support the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s research and programs. The AHA/ASA’s heart disease and stroke research funding is second only to the federal government.

According to the AHA, being physically active is important to prevent heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. To improve overall cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise, including cycling.

Online donations are being accepted at http://www2.heart.org/cntricounty Contact JoAnn Parker at 845-542-4580 or joann.parker@heart.org for more information about sponsorships. Heart disease and stroke survivors are welcome to attend. The AHA’s Tri-County Heart Walk is set for Sunday, May 5th at Harriman State Park. Registration is open online at www.tricountyheartwalk.org.

By |December 11th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Westchester American Heart Launches Community Impact Committee

The American Heart Association announced the launch of their Community Impact Committee which is goaled with building a culture of health in the Westchester community while improving cardiovascular health for all. The Community Impact Committee, or CIC, is a standing committee of the Westchester American Heart Regional Board and responsible for advising the Board on local and statewide health issues related to cardiovascular disease, and on programs it supports or initiates.

After completing a local needs assessment, based on the Association’s health priorities, the CIC will create a comprehensive plan with recommendations to fill in the gaps and health needs in the market. Some initial projects will address high blood pressure control, healthy food access and increasing physical activity opportunities for residents.

Dr. Gutnick

“The AHA is dedicated to orchestrating transformative change in communities that aligns with our goals to reduce death from heart disease and stroke while improving cardiovascular health for all,” said CIC co-chair Dr. Damara Gutnick, Medical Director, Montefiore HV Collaborative, “We look forward to convening local health partners and fostering collective action to help improve the quality of life for all of our neighbors.”

Dr. McIntyre

“The AHA’s Community Impact Committee has brought together the brightest minds in the county to collaboratively address food insecurity, access to healthy foods, and to share and adopt best practices in blood pressure control. There is an African proverb that says ‘if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ The members of the CIC understand the value of bringing to bear the individual and collective expertise, resources and community insights together with the input of the residents of the community to ensure a healthy Westchester,” said CIC co-chair, Sophia McIntyre, MD, MPH, MBA, FAAFP, CPE. McIntyre is the Chief Medical Officer, Hudson River Healthcare, Inc.

CIC volunteer members are leaders from a wide range of public and private health organizations and include: Dr. Sherlita Amler, Westchester Health Department Commissioner; Renee Recchia, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Administration, Westchester Health Department; Leslie Gordon, President and CEP, Feeding Westchester; Mary Molina, Founder, Owner, Lola Granola; Dr. Daren Wu, CMO, Open Door; Shauna Porteus, Community Librarian, Yonkers Public Library; Deborah Viola MBA, PhD, VP, Data Management and Analytics, WMC Health Network; Zachary Swierat, Program Director, YMCA White Plains and Yonkers; Francine Carl, Director of Westchester Comm College Extension Center, Mount Vernon; and Dr. Markos Asamenew, Medical Director, Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center.

To learn more about American Heart Association events and programs in the Westchester area, contact Jennifer Miller at Jennifer.miller@heart.org or 914-806-0962. Visit www.heart.org for information about healthy lifestyles, and www.heart.org/HudsonValley for local information.

By |December 11th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Grateful for the BetterU Health Journey

Today’s BetterU Blog is from JAIME!!!

When I received the call from the American Heart Association saying I was accepted into the Better U program 13 weeks ago, I had no idea what this experience would truly mean or how it would affect my entire life the way that it has.  For me, this experience has not only highlighted how important it is to my physical health that I make time for working out and being mindful of the foods I’m eating, but how important it is to my mental and emotional health.  I am truly not the same person I was at the beginning of this challenge.  I sleep better.  I speak up when I feel I’m being unfairly treated or taken advantage of.  I don’t feel bad or guilty about not spending every spare moment with my husband or children if I want to do something different.  I refuse to settle and if I don’t like something, I research ways to do it differently that works for me.  I tell people when I need something.

The physical changes that have happened to my body with the help and encouragement of the team at Gold’s Gym, the other ladies in this program and my competitive nature have truly amazed me.  Everyone knows that eating healthy and putting in the gym time will have positive effects, but when you get a report saying that you have reduced your body by 14.4”, it blows your mind.  I was truly speechless when I saw my progress.  I can keep up with my kids and outlast them if need be.  I started out leaving team training workouts feeling like I had been hit by a truck and then the next two days thinking I wouldn’t be able to move various parts of my body.  Now, I recover so much faster and the pain or soreness I feel encourages me to keep pushing myself.  If I can achieve these results thus far, what ELSE can I do?  It’s my new challenge to just see how far I can go.

I can honestly say this program and being with these other outstanding women who you think you know has helped me get such a greater respect for what this program really does for people, what astonishing creatures women really are and how it totally alters your life.  What you take away is such a greater understanding of what you really need in your life and what you don’t and the confidence to go after those things you need.

There is more work to be done in various areas of my journey, but I know now I’m ready and able to handle whatever comes next and I owe it to myself to take on these challenges so I keep growing into my Better Me.

Thank you to the American Heart Association for selecting me, to Gold’s Gym and DQ for showing me the way and Central Hudson Gas & Electric for your continued sponsorship of this life altering experience for women in our community.  To my Better U sisters, I am so grateful that we have all met and I am so glad that we’ve already talked about keeping our sisterhood going as I know we’ll continue to do great things in the future.

Much love always,

Jaime

 

#HVBetterU #GoRedHV

By |October 31st, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Change is Hard

Just over halfway through this program and eating healthy and exercising regularly is still really hard. It’s a different kind of hard than when I first started. You see, at first everything was so overwhelming. There was so much information and I didn’t know where to start. What really helped was telling everyone I knew about it and hearing all of their encouraging and supportive words. Now that the newness of the program has worn off, I’m starting to worry about long-term success. I don’t want this to be just another “phase” that I fall out of after a few months.

The connections I’ve formed with the other participants is a big part of what has kept me going. Their honesty with their journeys reminds me that I am not alone on this difficult ride. They are with me.  Seeing one or more of them at the gym on a day I really didn’t want to go makes things seem less terrible. Knowing that they are also trying to make healthy food choices helps me walk past the chips and cookie aisles in the grocery store even though that is all I can think of some days. Staying connected to my new-found friends is going to be so important. I can only hope that the connection grows stronger over time. These ladies might not know it yet, but they are stuck with me 🙂

By |September 27th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Trying and Not Comparing

This BetterU blog is from SHERYL!!!

Hi everyone, it’s Sheryl, the second oldest member of the Better U team!  And here we are at Week 7…wow!

I think it was our team member Lisa who listed the below statement as being one of her mantras.  After carefully thinking about it and analyzing how I’ve been feeling since we all started this journey, I do believe that Lisa has struck my nail right on the head!

When I look at how dedicated some of the ladies are about their gym time, going there at 5:30 in the morning, walking laps after their personal trainer workout, I find myself saying to myself “wow, Sheryl, why aren’t you doing that? You have way more weight to lose than they do!”  Even though I’m pretty regular about doing my weekly training, with my schedule and my stamina level, there’s just no way I can drag myself (yes, I STILL have to drag myself) there every day.  I love my trainer (yay Brittany…I know, shoulders down, butt out) but when it comes to me just going alone, I’m just not feeling the fire in my belly to go, as some of other ladies obviously are.

After talking with my weight loss coach Debbie Justs (I started seeing her 5 months ago, BBU – Before Better U) she pointed out that before Better U, I did not exercise.  At all.  I pretty much barely moved except when I absolutely had to.  Now, I am working out.  I went to a yoga workshop.  I walk around when I go to the store instead of heading right to the motorized buggies.   I am TRYING.  And I have to stop looking at everyone else and just own (and enjoy) my accomplishments.  Things that used to be a physical chore for me can now be done without becoming totally wiped out doing them, like going up and down the stairs to do laundry, waiting in line (which used to kill my legs.)  And finally I can do what so many ladies like me dream of: I can buy clothes at a regular store…that has plus sizes.

I guess that’s what drives me to eat well, workout, and maybe try to work out a little more.  I want to get to a point where I can live spontaneously and not have to pre-think everything I do/every place I go because of my size.  I have to take a breath, wait a beat, and give myself an attagirl for action that’s become easier…less stressful…instead of thinking “geez, why can’t I get to the gym every day?”  I’m trying to look for ways to move that are fun so I can trick myself into thinking it’s not exercise.  This weekend I bought a hula hoop.  Did you know it’s a “great cardio workout and strengthens and tones your body while burning an average of 400 calories per hour?”  It’s true!  Let’s see how this one works out…so to speak.

By |September 12th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Changes In Me and My Family!

This BetterU blog is from….ELISA!!!

As we cross over the half way point of the program, I am reflecting on how grateful I am for this program, the women on this journey with me, and the sponsors for making it possible. 

 Not many things have impacted my life the way this program has. Through the process I have been able to put exercise and food as a priority for myself in a busy schedule. Learning that there are no more excuses. 

I also have seen change in my family. Watching them begin to take interest in their food choices and exercise program. Could this really be working in my house?!? 

 Setting goals and intentions has made the biggest change. Getting up and remembering the “why” behind the action has helped to make the journey extra special. Also, makes the days I don’t do that well easier to handle. The mentors, mantras, and workshops have added richly to the experience. 

 Thank you!

By |September 11th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Reflections on BetterU

So many times when I take photos, I find I’m searching out reflections. One third of our way through the BetterU challenge, I’m stopping for a minute to reflect.

I find it hard to believe that after tearing my meniscus in early June that I could barely walk up stairs, but that was the case. That fall and injury caused me to make a reassessment of my life, my body and my future – and with my doctor’s permission, I applied to BetterU. I didn’t think I’d be accepted. My application was last minute. There were too many others who had more pressing issues. But I hit send with a prayer as somehow I knew that this initiative by the American Heart Association was really what I needed to learn how to create sustainable change for my future.

When I received the call from Allison saying I was accepted, I almost cried. I think I did when I hung up. It’s not that I couldn’t diet on my own, or go a gym on my own, but how many of us say the same thing, create time for a few weeks, then fall back on the same patterns as before. This program is a challenge for each of us to the very depths of our being. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s about rethinking how and what we do to find healthier patterns for living.

The magic of BetterU is having this amazing group of women surrounding you. I’ve never been in a sorority, but I imagine this is what it’s like. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged, reaching out to post your feelings in our private group brings an overwhelming influx of support and encouragement from current BetterU teammates as well as the alumnae of the program. If you feel like you’re not going to make it through a class, someone’s usually there to give you a hug and say, “you  can do this.” Together we’re becoming a better version or possibly a truer version of who we are.

Along the way, each of us is learning that making this time for us isn’t frivolous, selfish, or a luxury. It’s a necessity. If we don’t do it ourselves, no one else will do it for us. I know I’ve heard that for years, but in reality, I’ve put myself last for so long, it’s been a game changer to realize that this is okay.

This first third of the program has been amazing. I’m already feeling the change in my body. From higher energy levels, to weight loss (yay), to lower blood pressure readings, the effects are real. This weekend, I took a workmate’s advice and visited a consignment shop as I actually need new clothes, but as I’m still reshaping my body,  I don’t want invest a lot. I saw a beautiful Ralph Lauren red linen blazer in a 14W. I thought, wow, maybe I can fit in that (my blazer size was usually an 18w for the past few years). In the dressing room after I removed my sling (more on that) and carefully slid my arm in, I thought, wow this is roomy. Once I was enveloped in it. And I do mean enveloped. I thought, this is way too big. I had to go out of the dressing room and ask someone else to confirm this, as I didn’t believe it. In truth it was way too big.

As to the sling, two weeks ago I had a stupid accident, tripping over my dog in the dark and doing a pratfall worthy of a comic scene. As I sat on the floor in the lotus position, taking stock of first my legs (yes, both knees okay), back (fine), left arm (okay), right arm – oh – I can’t move it. Diagnosis? Broken shoulder and in a sling for at least a month. When I heard that, I was shocked, but immediately asked, “I can still exercise right? I’m in this great program and don’t want to stop…” The doctor smiled and said, “Absolutely. Just don’t move that arm, work your legs, and no treadmill!”

 

Since then I’ve taken most all the classes I was taking before with the amazing instructors at Gold’s Gym helping me modify the movements so my right shoulder remains immobile. Barre with Priscilla? Amazing. Yin Yoga with Dawn? So wonderful I never want it to end. Zumba, yes, Zumba with Michelle totally fun and finally getting the footwork as I don’t move my arms and also don’t try any jarring motions. I really have to give a huge shoutout to my personal trainer Sean, who worked with me the evening after my doctor’s visit. He then spent his off time researching how to best keep strengthening me with only the one arm, and after last night’s team training, my left arm feels super strong!

My teammates say they’re impressed that I keep going, but I’m overwhelmed by knowing that one of my teammates has such bad hip pain that in or

der to face each day she has to take one of the medications I use to allow me to sleep without pain. Her courage facing each day with that kind of pain and doing this program is what inspires me and puts this temporary pain in perspective.

To me, BetterU isn’t just a challenge to become thinner (though I’ll definitely take that), but it’s about becoming healthier, more resilient, more aware and empathetic. I told Dawn that I think if I hadn’t been so relaxed and at peace after my Yin Yoga session that my fall that evening would have been far more traumatic. For the first time in years, I feel that I’m finally finding control of my life and that is priceless. Thank you BetterU, Central Hudson and the amazing Denise VanBuren, Gold’s Gym and HealthQuest for ensuring that so many of us have the opportunity to become better and healthier versions of ourselves!

By |August 30th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , |3 Comments

Hitting a Plateau

A BetterU Blog Post from…CARMELLA!

Photo by Evangeline Gala (www.evangelinegala.com)

I’d like to start off with a little history about myself.  I have high blood pressure that is controlled by 3 medicines.  My family has a history of stroke, diabetes, breast cancer and heart disease.  My mom and her mom passed at 54 and 56 respectively.  My dad was gone at 78.  I saw myself gaining weight over the past year and I didn’t know how to stop it, but I knew I was in trouble.  I decided to apply for this program and start dieting in case I was accepted and that was a blessing.  I am so grateful to have been accepted.  Thank you.

As I stated above, I started dieting about three weeks prior to joining.  I didn’t remove food from my diet, but cut portions dramatically.   After being in the program for 4 weeks now, I took out some clothes that I had stored away and THEY FIT!!!  The challenge I have now is that I have finally hit a plateau with my weight.  I understand that weight loss is not the only component of this program, but it was extremely motivating when I saw the pounds shedding off.   I see a difference in some area of my body such as my neck, upper back and waist since taking the body scan.  I never felt so disgusted with myself after seeing that scan.  I cried the whole way home from the gym that night just asking myself, “How could you do this to yourself?”  I realized at that point, I was in charge.

A major concern is belly fat.  I reassure myself that if I eat the right foods and exercise, I will lose the belly fat.  I am reading up more on how metabolism & stress are factors that attribute to this and hopefully the information I continue to gather will help.  I started this program at 176 pounds according to my scale at home.  That same scale now says 160 and hasn’t moved in over a week.  So this plateau has brought some depression and lack of motivation to get to the gym. It’s been hard to push past this over the last week or so.   I have been going to Golds an average of 2 – 3 times a week and on the days I am not there, I am at my home gym at the apartment complex.  Every day I do 1 – 2 miles on the treadmill.

My routine has been to work out and check the scale.  Not anymore, as I have decided to put the scale away for a month and focus on physical activity and good eating.  Hopefully after the month, I will still see improvements and the scale will be nicer to me.  I need to stop getting depressed and just focus on the end results.  I will make myself and my family healthier. I have been making better choices as far as food, cooking more at home and eating out less.  Our favorite restaurant now knows I am in this program and actually prepares special dishes for me.  The support of everyone is overwhelming.

 

By |August 29th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments