Tag Archives: featured

Understand Heart Disease

Understand Heart Disease

It’s American Heart Month, and in honor of it, we want to help you better understand heart disease.

Heart disease includes many problems caused by a substance called plaque building up in the arteries of your heart. This makes your arteries narrow, which makes it harder for blood to get through.

Clogged Arteries

 

A heart attack is when blood flow to part of the heart is blocked by a blood clot in your arteries. If it cuts off blood flow completely, that part of the heart starts to die.

How Heart Attacks Happen

 

The most common type of stroke is also caused by a blood clot that blocks blood flow to the brain, which can cause brain damage. The longer those cells go without blood, the more damage it causes.

Blood Clots and Stroke

 

Heart failure is when the heart isn’t pumping blood as well as it should be, so the cells in your body aren’t getting enough oxygen. The longer heart failure is untreated, the worse it gets.

What's Heart Failure?

 

Heart arrhythmia is when your heart beat’s rhythm is off. It can be too fast, too slow, or just irregular. Learn more about arrhythmia.

Understand Heart Arrhythmia

 

Heart valve disease is when your heart valves aren’t working correctly, like not opening enough, not closing properly, or bulging into a different part of the heart. Learn more about heart valve disease.

Heart Valve Disease

 

Your yearly visits with your doctor should help identify risk factors or signs of heart disease. These screenings can help them find issues or recommend preventive steps.

Goal Progress

Vantage Point: Progress is Progress

It’s been a month since you put your best intentions forward and made your New Year’s resolutions. You’re now a month into those goals and making them work (or not) for you. So here might be the welcomed or dreaded question (depending on how you’ve kept to your goals): How are you doing? Have you totally fallen off the wagon, or are you still moving forward?

If you’ve kept up your New Year’s goals, awesome! Keep moving forward and making your way to a better and brighter 2019. You are an inspiration! We celebrate your determination and your discipline to make things happen. Shine your light by sharing your tips with others around you.

But what happens if January has come and gone, and you’ve fallen off the proverbial goal horse? Are you like me, where a cheat meal turns into a cheat day, then a cheat week, then a cheat month, and then to totally giving up your New Year’s resolutions, like I have in years past? To those out there struggling like myself, I say a mighty and loud, YOU CAN DO THIS! Get up, dust yourself off, climb back on the goal horse, and ride away into the victorious sunset.

Braveheart speeches aside, how does one get back on track for their goals? Well, I can only tell you how I’ve managed to get back on mine, and that is with this thought: Progress is progress, no matter how small. I try not to look at my mess-ups, but to a new day where I make progress, no matter how small. I take it one day at a time, and I try to think about my choices before I make them.

Is eating this or that going to help me make progress or hinder my progress? If it hinders my progress, I’ve really got to think about if it’s worth it. To some, a cheat treat is worth it, but only if it helps push you forward and past that craving rather than drag you down into the cheat meal spiral, which I’m famously known for. Cheat treats can also be altered to make them less of a hindrance. For instance, over the holidays, I made macadamia nut brittle rather than regular peanut brittle. It had less of the bad stuff, and I still got my brittle craving taken care of. Score!

Sticking with my goals has led to finally hitting my 40-pound weight loss goal, but I’ve also fallen off for months at a time. During our Annual Enrollment Period in 2018, I totally fell off the goal horse, and I put back on 15 pounds, but a New Year’s refocus has put me back to my goal. Yes, I’ve floundered here and there, but I stay focused on the small decisions I make and decide if they would push me toward progress or in the other direction.

Maybe it would help for you to keep a journal of the things that push you away from progress. Take that list, and master it, one thing at a time. Pretty soon, what’s pushing you toward progress will grow, and the list of those things pushing you away from progress will grow smaller and eventually be pretty much nonexistent. I know if I can do it, you can, too! Just remember, progress is progress, no matter how small.

Let’s refocus and do this!

 

Breck Obermeyer is a community liaison with Health Alliance Northwest, serving Yakima County. She is a small-town girl from Naches and has a great husband who can fix anything and 2 kids who are her world.

Fall Prevention Tips

Fall Prevention Tips

Falls cause broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and over 95% of hip fractures in older adults, and winter weather is just one reason for them. This week’s fall prevention tips can help you protect yourself and loved ones.

Get your eyes checked each year, and always keep your glasses prescription as up to date as possible.

Healthy Vision

 

Ask your doctor to review all your meds and see if there are other options for any drugs that might be increasing your risk of falling.

Your Medication

 

Fall-proof your home. Adding grab bars in the bathroom and railings to stairs and improving the lighting in your home can make a huge difference.

Fall Proof Your Home

 

Get enough calcium and Vitamin D with foods and drinks like dairy, soy milk, orange juice, and salmon, or take a regular supplement.

Nutrition and Weight Management Resources

 

Get tested for osteoporosis, which can increase your risk of falls and serious injuries from falling.

Remove clutter. A messy house can actually increase your chance of falling at home.

Warning Signs of Hoarding

 

Get active! There are great options and resources for getting healthy at any age. Tai chi is especially helpful for improving your balance and leg strength.

Your Ultimate Guide to Fall Prevention