Tag Archives: Red

Go Red for Heart Health

Long View: You Can’t Beat a Healthy Heart or 6 More Weeks of Winter

Just when you think the holidays are over and the thrill of the new year has finally tapered down, here comes February — Groundhog Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Mardis Gras, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents Day. February is a multi-themed, food-filled month of celebration.

We anticipate the shadow reveal of Punxsutawney Phil, we break out the football-shaped cheese ball to root for our team, we plan our menu of anything and everything on Fat Tuesday, and if that isn’t enough, we love to eat chocolates on the day of love. Then when it’s all over (and after a slight weight gain), we hit the mall for some comfy stretch wear with Presidents Day sale bargains!

But wait, how about doing something this month to celebrate our health and focus on our heart? If we can take advice from a small woodchuck about the weather, we surely can take advice from the American Heart Association about our health!

February is American Heart Month, and part of that is National Wear Red Day. For those of you who know me, my wardrobe pretty much consists of drab colors and neutrals, but this year, I broke out my red floral scarf for a splash of color as a symbol of support!

The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute encourage all of us to take action against this killer disease. Studies show that 80% of cardiac and stroke events may be preventable with education and action.

Find time to talk to your family and get everyone on board with heart health. Encourage healthy eating habits by making healthier versions of your favorite food. Choose foods and recipes low in sodium and with no added sugar or trans fats. When you shop, buy colorful fruits and vegetables, which are all powerhouses when it comes to nutrition, and stay away from dairy and meat products that are high in fat.

Fiber is important in your diet, and you can find fiber not only in fruits and vegetables, but also in beans, nuts, and whole grain. Take the time to read the nutrition labels on items, and check out the sodium content. (A general rule is, if anything has more than 250 mg of sodium, you may want to search for something with less.)

Physical activity can also help you stay heart healthy. It’s not only what you put into your body, it’s also what you put out. Exercise helps to improve heart health, and it can even help reverse certain heart disease risk factors. Our heart becomes stronger from exercise, which helps it pump more blood through the body and work at maximum level without strain.

Aerobic activities at least 3 to 4 times a week are the best. Choose walking, swimming, or biking, and allow for a good 5 minutes of stretching beforehand to warm up your muscles and a cool down period after you’re through. And of course, always check with your doctor before starting any new physical routine.

So this February, maybe forego indulging in lavish holiday food choices (remember that New Year’s resolution?) and celebrate in a new way. Go out and buy something red to wear to celebrate heart health AND 6 more weeks of winter, or will it be an early spring? Better check with Punxsutawney Phil before you go!

Mervet Adams is a community liaison with Health Alliance. She loves her grandson, family, nature, and fashion.

Fresh Garden Blueberry Recipes

Healthy Blueberry Recipes

This week, we featured delicious and healthy, in-season blueberry recipes.

First up are Red, White, and Blue Parfaits that you can whip up for the 4th of July.

Red, White, and Blue Parfaits
Image and Recipe via Life Tastes Good

 

Make this healthy No Mayo Broccoli Salad with Blueberries and Apple for any BBQ.

No Mayo Broccoli Salad with Blueberries and Apple

 

Baked Buttermilk Blueberry Donuts will help you skip the donut shop.

Baked Buttermilk Blueberry Donuts
Image and Recipe via The Beach House Kitchen

 

Blueberry-Basil Dressing on Spinach Salad is a refreshingly simple summer lunch.

Blueberry-Basil Dressing on Spinach Salad
Image and Recipe via The Garden Grazer

 

Throw together Blueberry Frozen Yogurt for a tasty frozen treat:

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
Image and Recipe via Renee’s Kitchen Adventures

 

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Blueberries are perfect with a grilled entrée.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Blueberries and Pecans

 

These Healthy Blueberry Muffins will satisfy your unhealthy muffin cravings.

Healthy Blueberry Muffins

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National Psoriasis Awareness Month

National Psoriasis Awareness Month

August is National Psoriasis Awareness Month, and 7.5 million people are living with it now, and 30% will develop psoriatic arthritis.

And 59% of people with psoriasis report it’s a problem in their everyday life. Learn more.

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Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes red, scaly patches on the skin, and 52% of those who have it aren’t satisfied with treatment.

Psoriasis on elbow. Medical treatment

 

33% of those suffering from psoriasis report social interactions are hurt by their disease.

Businessman applying sun screen

 

72% of psoriasis sufferers are overweight or obese, which increases their risk of having it on top of other chronic conditions.

Psoriasis is more common than you know. Pop icon Cyndi Lauper started talking about her own psoriasis in July. You’re not alone.

Volksstimme Fotos Ausgabe SAW

 

Are you newly diagnosed? The National Psoriasis Foundation has a psoriasis One-on-One to help you talk to someone who understands.

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Looking to learn more about psoriasis treatment, research, or to get involved? The National Psoriasis Foundation’s Free Health Webcasts can help.

Beautiful girl applying cream on legs

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Air Quality Index

Keeping Track of Air Quality

Just like a stoplight tells you when to go, the Air Quality Index (AQI) tells you when it’s safe to go outside and how clean the air is to breathe.

Across America, the AQI tracks smog, pollution from cars, soil dust, pollen, and ash. Every day, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) gives the air quality a color.

Green is the best, and as it goes from green to yellow to orange, the air gets less clean.

Poor air quality is a threat to everyone’s health, but children, the elderly, and those with breathing problems need to be even more careful. The worse the air, the more likely it will trigger an asthma flare-up.

Green is when it’s perfect to play outside, but as it changes colors, slow down or maybe even stay in.

AQI Color

AQI Status

Advice

Green

Good

Enjoy the outdoors.

Yellow

Moderate

Enjoy the outdoors, but maybe limit how long you’re outside.

Orange

Unhealthy for elderly, kids, and those with breathing problems

Take it easy, and if you’re at risk, think about staying inside.

Red

Unhealthy

Stay inside.

Purple

Very unhealthy

Stay inside.

Maroon

Hazardous

Definitely stay inside.

 

Before you head out, you can check the day’s color at AirNow, and protect yourself from the start.