Posts Tagged ‘heart health’

National Wear Red Day

Friday, February 6th, 2015

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, in partnership with the American Heart Association, is encouraging everyone to Wear Red today, February 6, 2015 to raise awareness of the number 1 killer of women, heart disease.

In Maine, more than 1 of every 4 deaths is from heart disease or stroke.  Don’t become a statistic. Take charge of your health!  One key to heart health is to know some very important numbers: your blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI.   Ideally, here’s where they should be (for non-diabetics):

  • Total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or lower
  • HDL (“good” cholesterol) of 50 mg/dL or higher for women and 40 mg/dL or higher for men
  • LDL (“bad” cholesterol) of 100 or lower
  • Triglycerides of less than 150 mg/dL.
  • Your BMI, or Body Mass Index, is based on your height and weight. If it is greater than 25 you are at higher risk of heart disease and stroke.  There are many BMI calculators available online such as
Roy Ulin

Roy Ulin, MD MaineHealth Cardiology

“Most of the time, you will not feel the symptoms of high blood pressure or high cholesterol,” said Dr. Roy Ulin a cardiologist at Maine Medical Partners MaineHealth Cardiology and partner of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. “The only way to know for sure if you’re at risk is to know your numbers and take action to fix it.”  Ask your primary care provider how your numbers compare.

Dr. Ulin said one of the best things you can do for your heart is to exercise.  “You don’t have to run a 10K or take a Zumba class, but you do need to move and increase your heart rate.  Ten minutes of brisk walking three times a day can go a long way towards improving your heart health.”

For all the good things you do to keep heart healthy it is important to also avoid the habits that can hurt your health. “Smoking damages your heart and blood vessels, making you two to four times more likely to have heart disease, a heart attack, and/or stroke.” said Dr. Ulin.  “Women who are on birth control pills are at even greater risk. But, if you quit, within three to five years, your risk of heart disease decreases to the level of a non-smoker regardless of how long you’ve been smoking.”

You do what you can to protect your loved ones and to keep them healthy. This year, do something for YOU. Changes you make now can have a positive effect for a lifetime.

St. Mary’s Offers Health Screenings for Heart Month

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Cardiovascular disease is any disease that affects the heart or blood vessels, such as a heart attack or stroke. Are you at risk? Knowing and managing your risk factors is a vital action to prevent a cardiac event.

Risk factors that can be changed and/or managed are physical inactivity, overweight/obesity, tobacco use, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Since February is Heart Disease Awareness Month for Women we’d like to remind you that:
– Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women
– Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately 1 woman each minute
– An estimated 43 MILLION women in the U.S are affected by heart disease.
– 90 percent of women have 1 or more risk factors for developing heart disease

Prevention is key! You can know your numbers by scheduling a Take Charge! Health Screening for the month of February. Take Charge! is a quick and easy screening that includes: A written health risk assessment (HRA), height, weight, blood pressure, BMI, total cholesterol testing, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and blood glucose (blood sugar). As part of the program, you will receive a personalized review of your results and health risks that will be explained to you by an exercise physiologist followed by health education.

Please call Prevention & Wellness at 777-8898 to schedule your screening. These screenings are open to everyone and cost $35.

St. Mary’s is also encouraging everyone to Wear Red on Friday, February 1, 2013 to raise awareness of heart disease.

American Heart Month

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

February is American Heart Month. Most of us know someone who has had a heart attack or stroke. In Maine more than 1 of every 4 deaths are from heart disease or stroke.

You can help protect yourself and your loved ones from heart disease and stroke by understanding the risks and taking these steps
• Know your ABCS
o Ask your doctor if you should take an Aspirin every day
o Find out if you have high Blood pressure or Cholesterol, if you do, work with your doctor to treat it
o If you Smoke, get help to quit ~ Maine Tobacco Helpline 1-800-207-1230
• Be physically active at least 30 minutes on most days
• Eat more fruits, vegetables and other foods low in sodium and transfat
• Take medicine as prescribed by your doctor

What else can you do?
Heart Month is a great time to learn about the Million Hearts Campaign. Million Hearts is a national campaign with the goal of preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes over five years.

February 1, 2013 is National Wear Red Day. This is a day the American Heart Association encourages you to wear red and help raise awareness that heart disease is the top killer of American women.
For more about heart disease and stroke visit

The February 2012 Online Wellness Center Page is Now Available!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Heart Health

It’s good to follow your heart. Follow it to the grocery store to buy low saturated fat foods and extra fruits and vegetables. Follow it to the gym or on a long, brisk, walk around the neighborhood. Follow it to your doctor’s office to have it listened to on a regular basis. Follow it in pursuit of a hobby that makes you happy. Follow it to a laugh-filled movie. Follow it to spend time with those you love. All are the keys to a healthy heart.

How Much Control Do You Have Over Your Life?

People who feel they have little control over what happens to them have low expectations in life. They are also more frustrated, stressed, and prone to heart attack. People who take control over their life are more resistant to stress and live healthier, more fulfilled lives. Learn how to be the latter.

Dietary Fiber – So Good For Your Heart

Dietary fiber protects your heart, normalizes blood sugar, and lowers cholesterol. Here are some practical tips for getting more fiber into your daily diet.

Take 10 Here and There – Short Brisk Walks Help Heart Health, Fitness, and Mood

The thought of doing 30 minutes of exercise a day can be daunting. This is most true for people who aren’t very active. But researchers have found that three 10-minute sessions of brisk exercise per day can have the same effect on your health as one 30-minute session. Got 10 minutes?

Gum Disease and Heart Disease:
The Link

Many people are aware of the common risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or uncontrolled diabetes. But few people are aware that gum disease could also be harmful to the heart. Knowing how and how often to brush and floss are vital to good gum health. So is seeing a dentist regularly. Learn how it all leads to a healthier heart.

Fitness & Exercise

For some people, exercise is a lonely venture. For others it’s fun and rejuvenating. But for everyone, it’s vital for good health. If you’re not very active, think about what you might like to do. Is it walking? Dancing? Gardening? Shopping? There’s a way to do almost anything more actively. Do jumping jacks during TV commercials. Power-walk through the mall. Go on. Start now.

Energize Your Exercise…With a Snack

Ready to exercise? Eat something first. You’ll have more energy and be able to exercise harder and ultimately burn more calories. A pre-exercise snack has other important functions too. Read more. 

How to Remove Barriers to Exercise 

How can you make physical activity a part of your daily life? It might help to first identify what’s stopping you. Are you too tired? Afraid of getting hurt? Is it the weather? Whatever the barrier is, there are ways to remove it.

Do You Need Exercise Equipment

Before plunking down hard-earned dollars for home exercise equipment, ask yourself: What kind of physical activity do I enjoy? What motivates me to exercise? Will it be more convenient to work out at home? What type of equipment is best? (The answer to that one is easy: The kind you’re really going to use!) Choose carefully.

Your First Fun Run, Bike-a-thon, or Group Walk

Thinking about doing a 5K fun run? That’s a long way. How do you prepare? Millions of first-timers take on this type of adventure each year. Millions more never get around to doing it. The limiting factor usually isn’t their ability or endurance. It’s that they don’t know how to get started.

Take the Monthly Health Challenge™

Sit Less, Move More

If you’re a high-energy person who doesn’t like to sit still, you know about being active. But what if your natural tendency is to take up your spot as a couch potato at home? Or if you stay glued to your chair at the office? To combat the downside of sitting, you’ve got to find ways to be more active. When you make the effort, you’ll burn more calories, feel healthier, and add years to your life.