Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. It is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths each year. With such staggering statistics, we might think, “What can be done to prevent/manage it?”
A lot, actually! We can take steps to manage our heart health—and since February is Heart Health Month, why not start now?
When I work with members on making healthy lifestyle changes, we start with a brief conversation about their chronic conditions and current lifestyle behaviors—for instance, whether they are a smoker and how much physical activity they get. Different needs call for different solutions. Members often ask, “With so much information out there, what are some credible resources to help me manage my health?”
Listed below are a few great resources for anyone who is looking to manage heart disease.
The American Heart Association (AHA) provides everything you need to know about taking care of your heart. Helpful information includes ideas for adding color to your diet with fruits and vegetables; heart-healthy recipes; cooking tips; and information on sleep, stress, and physical activity. The website is loaded with practical advice that encourages small changes. AHA also provides education on different types of heart diseases and treatment options.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website is home to thousands of health topics. The link included here provides an overview of heart disease, risk factors, managing health after a heart attack, and more. CDC curates a list of related websites that also offer credible information about heart disease.
MyFitnessPal is available as a website and an app. It a free resource that allows you to track calories each day. Not only is it helpful for losing weight, it keeps track of the amount of fat and sodium logged daily. It features a ‘bar code scanner’ for easy adding and includes recipe ideas and more.
ChooseMyPlate provides general nutrition information including dietary guidelines, tip sheets, recipe tools, and U.S. Department of Agriculture fact sheets.
Health coaching is available for UPMC Health Plan members. Health coaching programs include cardiac and lifestyle programs. Based on the program selected, the focus will include education about the disease, treatment, and creating weekly goals around making lifestyle changes such as diet and physical activity level.
UPMC Health Plan members who are interested in this resource can call a health coach at 1-800-807-0751.