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Help Your Heart In February

January 31, 2012
Emmetsburg News

Wear Red Day is this Friday, Feb. 3. The day kicks off American Heart Month, a time to focus on cardiovascular disease and the efforts to stop America's number one killer. Heart disease is especially deadly for women. Did you know more women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined?

According to the American Heart Association:

Heart disease is the number one killer of women age 20 and over, killing approximately one woman every minute.

More women die of heart disease than the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer.

One in three American women die of heart disease, compared to one in 30 women that die of breast cancer.

Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

Eighty percent of cardiac events in women may be prevented if they make the right choices for their hearts, involving diet, exercise, and abstinence from smoking.

This week I focus my editorial on the things that we (men and women both) can do to stay active and keep our hearts strong and healthy. As mentioned, diet and exercise are the cornerstones to any healthy living plan. But what do you do when you are residing in Iowa in February? This winter, we have been blessed with unusually warm temperatures, so walking, running, and biking up until a couple weeks ago, was possible.

But now that a "regular" winter has finally taken hold, what can we do? Well, there might be the old treadmill in the basement, but there are plenty of other opportunities to get out and get some exercise.

The Smith Wellness Center has a number of recreational programs for adults. There are fitness classes for all levels and abilities. Try a body sculpting class, a water fitness class, cardio kickboxing, cardio sculpt class, spinning, yoga, or taekwondo.

Personal trainers are available to help guide and motivate you to a healthier lifestyle.

If you don't know how to swim, take a class. Private swim lessons are available, as well.

The City Recreation Department offers several rec programs throughout the year. During the winter and spring months, a men's basketball league and women's and co-ed volleyball leagues meet and play.

Whatever you choose to do, get moving and get that heart pumping. Keep that most important muscle of all-your heart-fit and in tip-top shape.

--Lori Hall



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