Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 01:35 PM
Dr. Kathleen Evans of Heart Center's Marshall South location spoke to a large group of seniors at a recent GoldCare 55+ Lunch 'N Learn.
A cardiologist delivered a common sense talk to seniors about simple things anyone can do to improve heart health.
“A lot of my time is spent on prevention,” Dr. Kathleen Evans of Heart Center's Marshall Medical location told nearly 100 attendees at a GoldCare 55+ Lunch 'N Learn. “Prevention means diet and exercise.”
How do you lower cholesterol? Exercise, she said. That doesn’t mean you have to join a gym. Park farther away from the grocery store and walk. Grab a couple of soup cans at home and move your arms while watching TV.
“Get up. Stand up. Don’t sit in a chair all day then go to bed. Get physical exercise any way you can get it.”
She also warned against hibernating in winter.
“You need to stay fit and stay active,” she urged. “It’s not a seasonal thing.”
Eating healthier is not that difficult either, Dr. Evans insisted. Think fresh veggies and steam them.
“Contrary to popular belief in the South, you don’t have to have meat at every meal,” she said.
Avoid the inner aisles of the supermarket which are full of processed foods.
“Why not eat fresh instead of dealing with a can full of sodium?”
Skipping sodium is key to lowering blood pressure. Dr. Evans also recommended having a blood pressure monitor at home and checking it a couple of times a week. Create a record to share with your doctor so he or she can better gauge blood pressure and heart rate. If the top number is consistently higher than 130, then it should be checked by a doctor.
Alcohol use and sleep apnea also can affect blood pressure, she said.
Weight loss is not as important as keeping weight consistent, she said, although a health weight certainly is easier on the heart. BMI guidelines are very strict so don’t stress over reaching those exact numbers.
“Don’t worry about it as long as you are healthy and exercising,” she advised.
Finally, Dr. Evans advised seniors to develop coping skills for dealing with stress and make sure to laugh every day.
GoldCare 55+ serves area seniors by promoting a healthy and independent lifestyle. Monthly Lunch 'N Learns provide information on everything from health and exercise to safe driving. The next one is scheduled for March 21. Reserve your spot for lunch by calling 256.571-8025 or 256-753-8025 for Arab area residents at least a week in advance. Cost $5. Lunch is served at 11:30 and program begins at noon.
If you are 55 or older and would like to take advantage of all the benefits Marshall’s GoldCare 55+ program has to offer, visit the GoldCare page here where you can download a membership application, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.