Participants Moving More at the Westchester Heart Walk

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the No. 1 killer of all Americans. Heart disease also kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. But more than 80% of heart disease incidence can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes like moving more.  The American Heart Association’s October 1st Heart Walk event at Kensico Dam got Westchester residents moving more to fight heart disease, and the money raised will fund research, and help save lives. 

The Heart Walk is the AHA’s biggest annual event, raising more than $400,000 for AHA programs and research at last year’s event. This year’s event drew nearly 1,200 participants from more than 70 teams registered online. New “Move More” fitness stations were added to get even more activity at the 5K walk event. Kids and adults, and even some cadets volunteering at the event from Company E1 at West Point, tried the Plank Challenge, potato sack races, balloon tennis and more to get moving more. They ended the 5K with a dance celebration on the Kensico Dam Plaza.

“We know sitting is the new smoking and that inactivity is bad for hearts and blood vessels. We want people to move more to keep their hearts healthy to prevent the number one killer—heart disease,” said Jennifer Miller, AHA Heart Walk Senior Regional Director, “Today was a celebration that heart disease and stroke are survivable.”

Heart Walk Chair, Lori Morton from Regeneron in Tarrytown said that many young researchers receive AHA research grants as their first source of funding.

The Konow family of Ossining is grateful for research, early detection and advanced treatments for CHD. Their baby had lifesaving open heart surgery on the day of last year’s Heart Walk. They shared their story to raise awareness and were honored at this year’s event.

Kailey and Ryan Konow showed up for their 20-week prenatal appointment with the anticipation and excitement of any expectant parents. The doctors confirmed they were having a girl—but that she had a rare congenital heart defect. She was given heart tests immediately after birth last August.

Two months later, she got a simple cold and her oxygen levels dipped dangerously low. Mila Rose was put in a coma so her heart would stop working so hard and had emergency heart surgery on the date of last year’s Heart Walk to open her artery. On January 6th, she had the surgery for her full heart repair, and went home after 15 days, her heart fully repaired.

“We are so grateful for the technology and research that allowed the early detection. We’re so grateful for the doctors who continually focused in on her diagnosis and were always ready for her. She will be closely monitored for her cardiology team for the rest of her life, but her future is bright and our hearts are full,” said Konow.

CHD is the most common heart birth defect but it is survivable—the AHA journal Circulation that estimates about 1 million children and 1.4 million adults in the United States were living with a congenital heart defect (CHD) in 2010. The American Heart Association’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Learn more at www.heart.org.

The Heart Walk is sponsored by White Plains Hospital, WMC Health/Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Fujifilm, Dr. Patrick W. Thomas and Mrs. Johanna D. Thomas, New York Presbyterian, Phelps Hospital/Northwell Health, New York Medical College, Stop & Shop, Examiner Media, The Peak, Buzz Creators, News 12 Westchester, and Westchester Magazine.

Donations are still being accepted online at www.westchesterheartwalk.org.

American Heart Association Warns of Snow Shoveling Health Hazards

 

For most people, shoveling snow may not lead to any health problems. However, the American Heart Association warns that the risk of a heart attack during snow shoveling may increase for some, stating that the combination of colder temperatures and physical exertion increases the workload on the heart.snow shoveling

People who are outdoors in cold weather should avoid sudden exertion, like lifting a heavy shovel full of snow. Even walking through heavy, wet snow or snow drifts can strain a person’s heart.

“For people with existing heart conditions like heart failure, high blood pressure or cholesterol, the increased workload on the heart from activities such as shoveling of heavy snow, can put them at higher risk for heart attack,” said James Lyons, MD, FACC, cardiologist with The Heart Center at Health Quest and board member of the American Heart Association.

To help make snow removal safer, the American Heart Association has compiled a list of practical tips.

  • Give yourself a break. Take frequent rest breaks during shoveling so you don’t overstress your heart. Pay attention to how your body feels during those breaks.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal prior or soon after shoveling. Eating a large meal can put an extra load on your heart.
  • Use a small shovel or consider a snow thrower. The act of lifting heavy snow can raise blood pressure acutely during the lift. It is safer to lift smaller amounts more times, than to lug a few huge shovelfuls of snow. When possible, simply push the snow.
  • Learn the heart attack warning signs and listen to your body, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1
  • Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol may increase a person’s sensation of warmth and may cause them to underestimate the extra strain their body is under in the cold.
  • Consult a doctor. If you have a medical condition, don’t exercise on a regular basis or are middle aged or older, meet with your doctor prior to the first anticipated snowfall.
  • Be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. To prevent hypothermia, dress in layers of warm clothing, which traps air between layers forming a protective insulation. Wear a hat because much of your body’s heat can be lost through your head.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack,” where it is clear what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
  • As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.signs heart attack

Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. It is best to call Emergency medical services (EMS) for rapid transport to the emergency room. EMS staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. If you can’t access EMS, have someone drive you to the hospital right away. If you’re the one having symptoms, don’t drive yourself, unless you have absolutely no other option.

Heart attacks can cause sudden cardiac arrest, where the heart stops beating, or beats irregularly, failing to pump enough blood. One moment, a person can be walking and talking, and the next moment they collapse, lifeless. They will be unresponsive, not breathing or only gasping. Their lips will start to turn blue and skin will become pale. Quick recognition and fast action is the key to saving a life.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Bystanders can help cardiac arrest victims survive, if they act fast. First, call 9-1-1 and start CPR right away. Then, if an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is available, use it as soon as possible. If two people are available to help, one should begin CPR immediately while the other calls 9-1-1 and finds an AED.

Hands Only CPR is effective in saving lives during cardiac arrest. Hands-Only CPR has just two simple steps. If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse,

(1) Call 9-1-1; and

(2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the disco song “Stayin’ Alive” (100 beats per minute) until help arrives.

To learn more about CPR or find a local class, visit www.heart.org/CPR .

By |January 23rd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments