CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – More than 260 people were in attendance Feb. 16 at Summit Cardiology’s Heart Disease & Weight Management seminar at Wilson College.
Keynote speakers Dr. Arshad Safi of Summit Cardiology and Dr. Paul Klink of Summit Weight Management Services gave tips to attendees on how to make small lifestyle changes to reduce their risk for heart disease.
“Heart Disease killed more people in 2010 than any other disease,” Safi stated.
He explained that a major risk factor for heart disease is obesity, and that studies have shown a growing problem with obesity over the last 20 years in the U.S.
According to Safi, one factor causing obesity is that acceptable portion sizes have grown in the last 20 years. And, as the portion sizes have increased, we have not increased our physical activity.
“Twenty years ago, an acceptable serving of spaghetti was one cup of spaghetti, sauce, and three small meatballs, which equaled about 500 calories,” Safi illustrated. “Today, the serving includes 2 cups of pasta, sauce and three large meatballs, which is about 1,025 calories. That is a 525 calorie difference.”
Life’s Simple Seven
Safi cited the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 program as a source of information for people to help them start making small changes that could save their life.
Life’s Simple 7 outlines seven healthy habits that, if adopted, will help reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke.
The seven healthy habits are:
- Get Active
- Eat Better
- Lose Weight
- Stop Smoking
- Control Cholesterol
- Manage Blood Pressure
- Reduce Blood Sugar
12 Tips to a Healthy Weight
According to Dr. Paul Klink of Summit Weight Management Services, small changes can make a big difference for managing weight.
- Think Small. Make your goals small, measurable, and something you can do for the rest of your life. Small changes make a big difference.
- Know Your Numbers. Know your height and weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), calorie needs, calorie goals, and calorie intake. For help finding this information, you can use online tools found at SummitHealth.org/HealthyWeight.
- Eat Healthy. Eat whole grain bread, five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, less red meat and more fish. Also, stay within your calorie boundaries and be mindful of portions.
- Don’t Clean Your Plate. If you’re satisfied and no longer hungry, remember to stop eating.
- Eat Dinner Together. A sit down meal is more planned than eating on the go, so you tend to add healthier items to the menu.
- Sit Less. Sitting and physical inactivity can increase blood sugar, cholesterol, waist size and overall mortality rate. According to Klink, converting one hour of sitting to standing would result in the energy output that would lead to 13 pounds of weight loss each year.
- Walk More. According to Klink, 15 minutes of walking each day prolongs our life by three years. He also stated that women who walk one hour each week at three miles-per-hour can reduce their risk of heart disease by 50 percent.
- Limit TV Time. For every two-hours of television watched daily, there is an increased risk for diabetes by 20 percent and heart disease by 15 percent.
- Get To Bed. We should sleep for seven to nine hours each night. People who don’t get enough sleep are likely to eat about 300 more calories each day, Klink noted.
- Be Happy. Klink noted that a positive attitude will help us maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Enjoy Your Food. Taste it, chew it and enjoy it. This will also help you slow down when you’re eating. It takes almost 20 minutes for our stomachs to tell our brains we are no longer hungry.
- Be Aware of Your Food. Be mindful, eat more slowly, and write it down. Being more aware of your food can help you stop the unhealthy habit of mindless eating.
Klink concluded by stating that small changes reduce your risk of heart disease and other obesity related diseases.
Safi left the crowd with an important message about heart attacks – call 911 right away if you’re having chest pain.
“If your friend or family member drives you to the hospital, it might not be safe,” he said. “It could also cause a delay in your care upon arriving at the hospital. “
“The ambulance personnel know how to assess and prepare you,” Safi explained. “They will take an electrocardiogram that can be electronically transmitted to me. So, when you arrive at the hospital, our cardiac team will already be assembled and ready to intervene without any delay.”
According to Safi, time is heart muscle. The faster a blocked artery can be opened, the better the chance of saving heart tissue.
He stated that the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology recommend 90 minutes as the standard time to open a blocked artery after the patient arrives at the emergency department. According to Safi, Chambersburg Hospital averaged less than 60 minutes in 2011.
Chambersburg Hospital’s cardiology services recently won awards from the American Heart Association and Aetna for their treatment of heart patients.