Tag: blood pressure

Men’s Health Week & Know Your Numbers

June 13th – 19th | Complimentary to members

The National Men’s Health Week kicks off June 13th and is celebrated until June 19th.  Take action to be healthy and safe, and encourage men and boys in your life to make their health a priority. Learn about steps men can take each day to improve health.

All this week the SAC will have a table with information on men’s health issues, ideas on how men can stay fit and active at any age as well as an opportunity to participate in our Know Your Numbers program.

With this program all you need to do is take the Know Your Numbers card to your doctor and get your numbers: Blood Pressure, Cholesterol Levels, and Blood Sugar. Bring that filled out card back to the SAC and have a complimentary meeting with one of our personal fitness trainers to review your numbers, what they mean and how to stay healthy with those numbers.

For more information, please contact our Fitness Director, Jacob Galloway, at jgalloway@sacdt.com.

Know Your Numbers & Women’s Health Week

May 8th – 14th |  Complimentary

The 17th annual National Women’s Health Week kicks off on Mother’s Day, May 8, and is celebrated until May 14, 2016. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority. The week also serves as a time to help women understand what steps they can take to improve their health.

All this week the SAC will have a table with information on women’s health issues, ideas on how women can stay fit and active at any age as well as an opportunity to participate in our Know Your Numbers program.

With this program all you need to do is take the Know Your Numbers card to your doctor and get your numbers: blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar. Bring that filled out card back to the SAC and have a complimentary meeting with one of our personal fitness trainers to review your numbers, what they mean, and how to stay healthy with those numbers.

For more information, please contact our Fitness Director, Jacob Galloway, at jgalloway@sacdt.com.

February is Heart Health Month, do you know your heart facts?

Complimentary blood pressure readings Friday February 12th

Heart disease is a major problem. According to the CDC, about 1 out of every 4 deaths is related to heart disease in the United States each year. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

An unhealthy heart is one that has Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), which occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. CAD can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias.

One easy way to know the health of your heart is to have your blood pressure taken regularly.  Normal resting blood pressure in an adult is approximately 120/80 mm Hg; as your resting blood pressure increases so does your chances for CAD. If you don’t know your resting blood pressure, come into the club and have it tested free of charge.

Do you know that the signs and symptoms of a heart attack differ from men to women?

Warning signs found more in women

  • Shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and dizziness (having trouble breathing for no apparent reason)
  • Pain in arms, back, neck, or jaw (pain can be gradual or sudden)
  • Cold sweats (feels like a stress-related sweat rather than perspiration from exercise or spending time outside in the heat)
  • Stomach pain (often mistaken for heartburn, the flu, or a stomach ulcer)
  • Extreme fatigue (challenging to do simple tasks such as walk to the bathroom)

Warning signs found more in men

  • Arm pain (more common in the left, but may occur in either arm), upper back pain and upper middle abdomen discomfort. Overall, upper body pain.
  • Jaw pain, toothache, and headache
  • Shortness of breath, cold sweats, anxiety
  • Heartburn and/or indigestion
  • No signs (1/4 of all heart attacks are silent!!!)

Common warning signs for both men and women:

 

  • Chest pain, including pressure and squeezing around the chest area.
  • Nausea and vomiting

 

 

For more information, please contact our Fitness Director, Jacob Galloway, at jgalloway@sacdt.com.

 

Good Health and Good Relationships Susan Raab-Cohen, PhD Psychologist & SACDT Member

Most of us at Seattle Athletic Club are swimming, running or lifting because we want to increase our odds of living today and tomorrow with strength, vigor and flexibility.

It could be, though, that we are overlooking one of the most important variables contributing to good health: the quality of our primary relationships. A good relationship is the single best recipe for good health and the most powerful antidote to aging.

Research shows:

Men gain health benefits simply by getting married. Their health status improves, negative physical symptoms decrease, and positive behaviors increase.

For each year of marriage, a woman’s risk of dying prematurely decreases.

Consistent emotional support lowers blood pressure and bolsters the immune system. It appears to reduce the death rate from cancer as well as the incidence of heart disease and infectious disease.

A secure connection significantly lessens susceptibility to anxiety and depression and makes us more resilient against stress and trauma.

Close connection is the strongest predictor of happiness, much more than making masses of money or winning the lottery.

A successful, long term relationship may do as much for your longevity, mood and physical resilience as the hours you spend working out. However, a lack of attention to your relationship may have the same negative consequences as inactivity:

Men who are divorced experience health risks equal to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

Women‘s health appears to be more susceptible to marital discord than men’s health. For women, poor relationship quality is associated with an increased risk of premature mortality and an increased risk of heart disease.

Obviously not everyone wants to be in a relationship, nor is it easy to find the right person even if you want to do so. Many people persist in relationships while feeling lonely, angry or hopeless. They have done whatever they can to improve their relationship but their efforts have been unsuccessful. Resignation seems the only possible outcome.

However, we now know more about strengthening the underlying bonds of marriage for straight, gay or transgender couples than we ever have. We understand that the attachment bond that defines the parent/child bond also defines the underlying bond of adult commitment. We see the power of that bond to build resilience in adults. We know what happens when the bond is broken—and we now know much more about how to repair it.

John Gottman, PhD, here at the University of Washington, did pioneering work describing what happens in the interactions of marriage. While Gottman studied thousands of hours of couples trying to get along, Sue Johnson, PhD, watched thousands of hours of couples in marital therapy and figured out what works. She developed Emotionally Focused Therapy, a theory and practice of couples therapy that has an extensive research record demonstrating its effectiveness. She also wrote a book: Hold Me Tight, which gives consumers a theory and outline for improving their relationships.

Sue Johnson also developed a consumer workshop based on her book:
Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for Connection®. This workshop is also evidence-based. It is now being offered all around the world.

My colleague, Dorsey Green, PhD, and I will be offering this seminar here in the Pike Place Market March 7-8 and May 30-31.

Rob Lauren has seen a direct connection between the mission of the Seattle Athletic Club and a focus on relationship health as related to physical health. We are appreciative to him for his willingness to partner with us this spring. SACDT members may attend Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for Connection at a discounted rate. This program is nonjudgmental (neither of you will feel blamed) and intimate (10-15 couples with significant time spent talking 1:1 in a structured way).

Interested?  You can learn more about the workshop as well as see comments from past participants on our website: www.holdmetightseminars.com.

Still curious? Click on this four minute video—What Is a Healthy Marriage? http://www.holdmetightseminars.com/what-is-a-healthy-marriage/

Lastly, the video below explains a very powerful research study that describes how love and trust change our neurochemistry and resilience to pain:

Soothing the Threatened Brain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J6B00d-8lw

**Research references available upon request

American Heart Month

The month of February is synonymous for the heart driven holiday of love, this month is also American Heart month. In honor of this observance, it’s important to find out if you and your family members are at risk for this preventable disease.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States. It is a leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities. Although health disparities based on geography, race, ethnicity, gender, age, or genetics cannot be altered, lifestyle changes are the easiest way to gain control of your health and avoid potential risk factors.

You have heard it many times, eat your veggies and exercise to keep your heart strong and happy, diet is a big player in Cardio vascular disease prevention. A balanced diet of nutrient rich foods can have the biggest impact on your heart. Adults should have at least 5 servings a day of fruits and veggies, eat foods low in trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and increase high fiber foods. Physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and control blood pressure. Be sure to include varied physical activity such as cardio, strength training, and flexibility modalities at minimum 150 minutes a week into your lifestyle.

Smoking and/or alcohol consumption combined can lead to higher chances; moderation or cessation is key. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes harm the heart and blood vessels, increasing your risk of atherosclerosis (artery narrowing)—even if you smoke only once in a while. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can increase your blood pressure. Men should stick to no more than two drinks per day, and women to no more than one.

Diabetes has recently been added to the list of factors according to the National Diabetes Clearing House, “If you have diabetes you are twice as likely as someone who doesn’t for the disease.” Over time, high blood glucose levels (blood sugar) can increase the deposits of fatty materials in artery and blood vessel walls, increasing the chances for artery narrowing and hardening (atherosclerosis). Scientists have discovered that all cholesterol is not the same, aim to get your cholesterol levels checked at least once every 5 hrs. The so called “good” cholesterol –HDL- is actually protective against heart disease, it can help reduce inflammation, which contributes to heart health. HDL lower than 40 mg/dl increases your risk of heart disease, while HDL above 60 mg/dl may offer protection against heart disease.

As you begin your journey keep a few things in mind to keep you on track; Partner up, the journey is more fun. Don’t get discouraged, you will create unnecessary stress on your heart, and try not to get overwhelmed with vast information, the smallest steps are the most important.

February welcomes Valentine’s Day and Heart Awareness Month.

Heart disease is a major problem. According to the CDC every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year—that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common type in the United States is coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease), which occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias.

Plan for Prevention

Some health conditions and lifestyle factors can put people at a higher risk for developing heart disease. You can help prevent heart disease by making healthy choices and managing any medical conditions you may have.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables—adults should have at least 5 servings each day. Eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt or sodium in your diet also can lower your blood pressure. For more information on healthy diet and nutrition, visit CDC’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Program Web site and ChooseMyPlate.gov.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, you can calculate a number called the body mass index (BMI) or you may also use waist and hip measurements to measure a person’s body fat. If you know your weight and height, you can calculate your BMI at CDC’s Assessing Your Weight Web site.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. For more information, contact any of our fitness staff.
  • Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis. You can check your blood pressure at home, at a pharmacy, or at a doctor’s office and even here at the Seattle Athletic Club.
  • Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.
  • Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can increase your blood pressure. Men should stick to no more than two drinks per day, and women to no more than one.
  • Have your cholesterol checked. Your health care provider should test your cholesterol levels at least once every 5 years. Talk with your doctor about this simple blood test.
  • Manage your diabetes. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely, and talk with your doctor about treatment options.

Take your medicine. If you’re taking medication to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something. If you want to get off you medications or lower them naturally start an exercise regime here at the Seattle Athletic Club and see the dependence on pharmaceuticals disappear.

Top Reasons to Do Cardio Exercise

The best reason to do cardio is to make exercise throughout your daily life easier and to maintain a strong, healthy heart for your entire life.

Cardiovascular exercise is called cardio for a reason: because cardiovascular exercise primarily benefits the cardiovascular system. The primary function of the cardiovascular system is to deliver oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to the muscles. Large components of our cardiovascular system include the heart, blood, blood vessels (e.g. veins, arteries, capillaries), and the lungs. The more regular cardio we do, the better our cardiovascular system performs.

As we become more cardiovascularly fit, our heart becomes more muscular and stronger, our blood pressure improves, the amount of oxygen we can effectively utilize increases, and our resting heart rate decreases. In other words, cardiovascular work becomes easier, and we feel better.

Additionally cardio speeds our recovery from delayed-onset muscle soreness. By speeding the delivery of vital nutrients and hormones to the affected tissue as well as speeding the removal of lactic acid and muscle damage by-produces from the affected tissue, cardiovascular activity hastens the recovery process.

All that said, above all else we need to sustain a regular cardiovascular routine to maintain a healthy and fit cardiovascular system. If you have any questions on cardiovascular fitness or training please feel free to contact any one of our qualified personal fitness trainers or our fitness director Jacob Galloway.