Coliseum Medical Centers Encourages Heart Health with These 6 Steps

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Friday, February 14th, 2020

Coliseum Medical Centers encourages middle Georgians to learn more about their heart health, especially during the month of February which is officially recognized as Heart Month.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide accounting for more deaths than all forms of cancer combined according to the American Heart Association (AHA). There are steps you can and should take to improve your heart health and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Am I at risk for heart disease?

According to cardiologist Dr. Maria Bartlett, medical director of cardiology at Coliseum Medical Centers, there are two types of risk factors for heart disease: the ones you can’t change (non-modifiable) and the ones you can (modifiable).

She said, “Age, gender, family history, race and menopause are non-modifiable risk factors – there isn’t much you can do about those. However, many factors can be changed to reduce your risk, such as healthy lifestyle, weight, nutrition, physical activity, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol.”

To help middle Georgians become more familiar with their risk of heart disease, Coliseum Medical Centers will host a FREE Heart Screening on Saturday, February 29.


Saturday, February 29  |   7:00 to 10:00 am (Drop in)
Coliseum Medical Centers  |   Building C; Suite 120

Knowledge is power when it comes to avoiding heart disease! Knowing your family health history, managing your risk factors, having regular checkups and working with your doctor to make heart-healthy decisions are all beneficial in maintaining a healthy heart and preventing heart disease. Join us for a FREE heart screening to include:

·         Fasting lipid blood test (cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose)

·         Weight and body mass index

·         Hip to waist ratio

·         Blood pressure

·         Clinicians available to answer questions and share information on nutrition, medication and exercise

How to avoid heart disease

Once you’ve determined your risk factors, the work begins to keep them as low as possible. Follow these six steps to achieve a healthier heart and lower your risk for heart disease:

1.    Exercise regularly
Do some aerobic exercise – like walking, cycling, jogging and swimming – to get the blood pumping. You’ll want to aim for at least two and a half hours each week. Add in some strength training for your major muscle groups two days a week.

2.    Eat a heart-healthy diet
Try to include plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains in your diet. A healthy diet should include foods that are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fat, sugar and salt. Also, limiting your total calories to a reasonable amount is important.

3.    Maintain a healthy weight
Everyone’s body is different. A healthy weight for one person may not be healthy for another person. One thing is certain: too much weight can increase your risk of heart disease. Eating healthy and exercising can remove obesity as a risk factor.

4.    Cut out tobacco

Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit. Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease. Non-smokers should also avoid second-hand smoke.

5.    Drink in moderation
Limit your alcohol to a moderate level. This means two or fewer drinks per day for men and one for women. One drink equals a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor.

6.    Keep an eye on other medical conditions
This is especially important if you have:

·         High cholesterol - Exercise raises your HDL (good) cholesterol level. Decreasing your intake of saturated fat lowers your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Changes in both numbers helps make you healthier overall. If you are prescribed a statin and your cholesterol numbers improve, this does not mean that you should be sedentary and eat whatever you want – you’ll still need to focus on other controllable risk factors.

·         High blood pressure - If you have high blood pressure, work to get it under control. Eating a healthy diet, exercising, and not drinking alcohol are just some ways to help control your blood pressure. Some people will also need to take medication.

·         Diabetes - Eating well, exercising and taking medication can help keep diabetes under control.