Health & Safety

February 28, 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 a 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 urges 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 week, 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 a healthier you.

For more information regarding heart health, visit the Air Force Medical Service website at www.afms.af.mil.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell McMillan

Mega-Code 14: Preparing March for joint medical operations

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell McMillan Senior Airman Kerry Diehl-Hauser (left) and Maj. Lorna Figueras, 452nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron, help transfer a simulated patient from an ambulance to a C-17 Globemaster ...
 
 

SAPR: More than an Air Force Acronym

As an Airman and a senior leader in the Air Force Reserve, I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impacts of sexual assault on an Air Force organization. Regardless of your unit or military status, Active or Reserve, no one is immune to these impacts nor absolved of their responsibility to combat the instances of sexual assault...
 
 
Untitled-1

March Baseball Championship

Members of the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing (top) beat a team from the 452nd Air Mobility Wing to win the 2014 March Field baseball championship trophy. The 452 AMW members (bottom) were the base runners-up and league champions.
 

 
HBI-Graphic

Access to Care

Since the TRICARE Prime benefit was first introduced in 1995, the Military Health System has established standards by which we hold ourselves accountable for access to health care. The standards are straightforward. If a patien...
 
 
flu_gov

Flu season just around corner

It’s hard to believe that another year has passed and flu season is just around the corner. Although seasonal flu usually peaks in January or February, it can occur as early as October which means our annual Flu Campaign is r...
 
 

SECAF: Air Force grapples with Congress to fund readiness

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — To balance readiness today and modernization tomorrow, the Air Force’s fiscal year 2015 budget request is shrinking like today’s defense budget thanks to Congress’s own priorities and the approaching threat of sequestration in 2016, Air Force leaders said July 30. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin