Walking only 30 minutes per day can make a difference to your overall heart health. Not only will you feel better, but you can help reduce your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure and take the first steps in leading a healthier life. This is why Dave DeMay, Senior Vice President of KAST Construction and 2018 Palm Beach County Heart Walk Chairman, wants you to walk with him at this year’s Heart Walk.
Why did you want to get involved with the Palm Beach County Heart Walk 2018?
KAST Construction is one of the largest employers in Palm Beach County. We are also in an industry that is not known for our healthy eating or healthy lifestyle habits. I wanted to get involved to educate our team at KAST, the construction industry and the community at large on the benefits of living a heart-healthy life, taking the first steps and bringing awareness that heart disease is still everyone’s #1 health threat.
What is your reason to live a longer, healthier life?
Heart disease runs in my family and living a heart-healthy life has been a significant driver for myself and my family. I want to be there for my kids and eventually, the next generation. I hope that my choice to take care of my health inspires my children to do the same. The family is everything, my family is why.
Why did you want CPR training at this year’s event?
We have seen the impact CPR training can have in our community over the last year. Hands-only CPR training is now a graduation requirement for all public high school students, putting over 12,000 new lifesavers in our community just this year. The impact of this became very real this year when a young man from Jupiter saved his friend from drowning by performing CPR on him for over 30 minutes off the coast of the Jupiter inlet before the EMT’s arrived. Because of the CPR training he received in school, he was able to save his best friend’s life.
How do you see the American Heart Association’s Mission working in Palm Beach County?
Over and above the advances made in training the community in the lifesaving skill of CPR, the American Heart Association is making huge strides in the community. Nine Palm Beach County Hospitals are accredited with the Association’s ‘Get With the Guidelines’ program which provides best practices in both cardiac and stroke care for the hospitals to follow, the Target Blood Pressure program is also expanding, giving clinics and medical practices resources to aid in helping their patients maintain optimum blood pressure, thus reducing their risk of cardiovascular diseases or stroke.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office supports the American Heart Association and wants to encourage the community to be Healthy for Good
Taking the first step to live a healthier life can sometimes be the most challenging. Here are some great tips from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Training Team on how to incorporate the American Heart Association’s ‘Life’s Simple 7’.
Manage Blood Pressure
The American Heart Association changed its blood pressure guidelines in 2017 and your blood pressure should now optimally be 120/80 or less. You don’t have to own your own blood pressure cuff to monitor your blood pressure. When you visit your doctor’s office, your doctor will be able to tell you your blood pressure. You can also find free blood pressure screening machines at local retail pharmacies.
Cholesterol can be difficult to monitor without going to the doctor because it involves a blood test. There are steps you can take to reduce the intake of bad cholesterol such as limiting saturated fat, reducing red meat consumption and adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
Reduce Blood Sugar
Processed foods and sugary drinks are the two biggest contributors to excess sugar in our diets. So, to avoid this, cook more with fresh ingredients and limit the intake of soda. One small change to try is adding fresh fruit to your water instead.
Simply put, daily physical activity increases your length and quality of life. It’s as simple as a brisk walk, 30 minutes per day. We live in a place with great weather year-round so get out and get active.
Two of the biggest tips to eat smart are to add colorful fruits and vegetables to your plate at every meal and reduce the amount of saturated and trans fats from your diet. A heart-healthy diet is one of the simple changes you can make to prevent cardiovascular disease.
When you shed extra fat and unnecessary pounds, you reduce the burden on your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. You give yourself the gift of active living, you lower your blood pressure and you feel better.
Smoking is the number one leading risk factor for heart disease. There are a variety of free resources to help you quit and lead a heart-healthy life, free of tobacco.
For more information on Life’s Simple 7 and Healthy for Good visit healthyforgood.heart.org
The Palm Beach County Heart Walk is on Saturday, November 17th, 2018 at the Meyer Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. The fun begins at 8 am and the walk starts at 9 am.