We tend to think of health and wellness as interchangeable concepts. However, while “health” simply refers to the absence of disease or injury, wellness refers to a blend of different types of health that contribute to an overall sense of wellbeing. Wellness experts identify physical health, mental and emotional health, social health, intellectual health, environmental health, and spiritual health as the primary contributors to total wellness.
Here’s our hypothetical situation: after undergoing a lipid panel, your cardiologist diagnoses you with high cholesterol. To help reduce the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol, your physician may prescribe statins, a medication that can help reduce cholesterol. In addition, he may suggest changes you can make in other aspects of your life that can improve your health. So, you take a heart-healthy cooking class and learn about how to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into your diet. You join the local YMCA and make a few new exercise buddies. Your sleep, mood, self-esteem, and energy levels begin to improve because of your new lifestyle. In short, rather than simply taking your medicine and hoping for the best, you become an active participant in your treatment and can enjoy the countless benefits total wellness.
The physicians at Prevail Heart Clinics of America believe in the power of preventive care. Whether you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or coronary heart disease or suffered a heart attack or stroke, you have the power to prevent your condition from getting worse. Prevail Heart Clinics of America encourages you to learn more about your condition and talk to us about any concerns or questions you have about:
Only through honest, open discussion with your cardiologist can you determine the best diet for your heart health. In addition, research has shown that tracking your daily food intake is key to a successful diet and nutrition plan. It is important to utilize natural supplements along with exercise and a proper meal plan. To learn more about tracking your food, we encourage you visit the American Heart Association’s weight management resources and visit with one of our staff members about other great resources for meal plans and a healthy lifestyle.
The staff at Prevail Heart clinics of America will generally recommend three types of exercise, each with its own challenges and set of benefits:
Often called "cardio," aerobic exercises include walking, jogging, swimming, bicycling, steps aerobics classes, and dance classes. If it requires lots of movement and forces you to breathe harder, it’s probably aerobic exercise. Walking should be an important part of your aerobic exercise. You don't need gym memberships or heavy aerobic. You can merely walk to get your blood pumping.
Generally comprised of lifting weights or using a weight machine to build muscle and improve tone, strength training may not be appropriate for everyone. Talk to your physician about whether you can incorporate strength training into your exercise program. Gentler programs such as Pilates can build muscles without the use of weights.
To learn more about starting a heart healthy exercise routine, we encourage you to peruse the American Heart Association’s guidelines and tips for physical activity.
Whether you smoke two cigarettes a day or twenty a day, kicking the habit is one of the best choices you can make for your heart health and your overall well-being. Of course, having the right support and resources can help make this life-changing decision easier. Sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, SmokeFree.gov offers information, advice and techniques for behavior modification, daily challenges, and a supportive online community that can help you make the day-to-day changes needed to quit smoking for life.