YMCA of Greater Erie

Our nation is one of the most advanced nations in the world. So, why do we continue to struggle with making the changes necessary to help prevent heart disease?

In an increasingly connected world, we sometimes seem to be more and more personally disconnected.  Technology allows us the comfort of shrinking accountability through a text or an email.

According to the American Heart Association, there are seven strategies to improving heart health; get active, eat better, lose weight, stop smoking, control cholesterol, manage blood pressure and reduce blood sugar. Sounds simple, right?  Well, despite an over abundance of public knowledge around heart health, making these lifestyle and behavior changes is anything but simple.

The fact is, the only cause of death in the United States that statistically comes close to heart disease is cancer. Heart disease and cancer together account for more deaths than all other causes combined. Coincidentally enough, precautions to reduce the risks of becoming inflicted by either ailment are nearly identical: get active, eat better, lose weight, stop smoking, control cholesterol, manage blood pressure and reduce blood sugar.

Here’s a shameless challenge: grab your fitness buddy, one who will keep you accountable, and agree to make small, manageable changes. The changes don’t have to be drastic to see results. Remember what it was like to, ‘go out and play’ with a good friend? Do that. Resolve with your buddy to move your body at least twice a week, play one game of choice, and together replace one crummy meal with a healthy one.

Your friends and family will thank you and your heart will thank you.