Health & Safety

February 27, 2014

Simple tips Airmen should ‘take to heart’

Senior Airman Zachary Vucic
Air Force News Service

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS) — February is designated American Heart Month with the mission to increase awareness about heart health, a growing problem within the Air Force, according to a cardiology consultant to the Air Force surgeon general.

Lt. Col. Samuel O. Jones said that in the medical community, heart issues are no longer thought of as a problem exclusively for older patients. More and more, inactivity in the nation’s youth is causing heart problems at younger ages, a problem that can be as damaging as smoking, he said. In some cases, unhealthy plaque buildup around the heart can start in a patient’s teens.

“Airmen have to … follow the basic tenets of a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

An important, yet often overlooked, aspect of that healthy lifestyle is found in how one goes about his or her day-to-day business, he said. The modern American lifestyle of fast food and development of technologies that make life easier, has contributed noticeably to increased inactivity.

Here are a few simple, everyday things that can increase daily heart-healthy activity:

Park further away when you visit the commissary and walk. Those few extra paces will add up quickly and require less than one minute of added time to your errand

If work has you pinned to a desk, consider standing for periods of time. The Centers for Disease Control suggests the benefits of periodically standing can increase blood flow, burn more calories, and assist with energy balance and aid in weight management, all of which benefit heart health

Take the stairs whenever possible, forego the elevators and escalators. Taking the stairs requires little additional time and benefits overall health

Try to avoid getting sucked into electronic targets such as smartphones in your free time, take a walk instead

At minimum, exercise for 30 minutes, three times per week.

“It’s not about making your life easier, it’s about making your life healthier,” Jones said. “Sometimes by making our lives easier we are actually killing ourselves.”

According to the CDC website, about 715,000 Americans suffer a heart attack annually, and another 600,000 die from heart disease, the leading cause of death in both men and women. The signs of heart-related problems range from very subtle to extreme in some cases.

Jones urged Airmen who may experience chest pain, dizziness or passing out, to get evaluated. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it still produces peace of mind. Other ways to be proactive about heart health include getting regular blood pressure and cholesterol checks, avoiding tobacco products, lowering salt intake, avoiding fast foods, and if you currently have diabetes, managing it properly.

This February, evaluate your lifestyle and decide if you are doing everything you can to prevent heart-related problems. A few extra steps a day will not make life more difficult, but it will make you healthier. Challenge yourself for the benefit of yourself. For more information regarding heart health, visit the Air Force Medical Service website.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Racheal E. Watson)

Living the American Dream

SOUTHWEST ASIA — On Christmas day in 1991, the Soviet flag flew over the Kremlin in Moscow for the last time. People across the country took what jobs they could find, getting paid a fraction of what they made before as...
 
 

AFSOUTH Airmen visit orphans

(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Heather R. Redman) Staff Sgt. Katie Adams, Master Sgt. Roberto Vasquez and Capt. Sarah Hartenstein, all members of 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), take a group photo with the children at Casa de Corderitos orphanage outside the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, June 18. The 12th Air Force (AFSOUTH) members...
 
 

AF begins enlisted PME enrollment notifications

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Last week, the Air Force Personnel Center initiated a phased approach to notify approximately 83,000 Airmen of the requirement to enroll in the applicable enlisted professional military education distance learning course. AFPC will notify 20,000 Airmen at the beginning of each month until all members have been notified....
 

 
Congeniality_pict

More than just Ms. Congeniality: Airman competes for homeless female veterans

For Tech. Sgt. Charmaine Pozo, the Ms. Veteran America contest was not about glamourous pageantry. It was about tireless advocacy – for a minimally acknowledged segment of those who have served in uniform: homeless female...
 
 

Enlisted evaluation, promotion systems updated

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — With static closeout dates for each rank in place, the Air Force announced it will update the enlisted performance report forms and utilize new forced distribution and senior rater stratification restrictions to round out the incremental changes to enlisted evaluation and promotion systems with performance as the driving factor in promotions. For...
 
 

Don’t throw a fit — get fit

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA — It’s a controversial topic that has been brought up by many Airmen — changing the abdominal circumference standards on the Air Force fitness assessment test. After months of debate, it was decided by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III that the standards will stay the same....
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>