February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month | By Lindsay Little – Jazzercise of Hartford/West Bend/Slinger/Dodge County

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Hartford, WI – February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is responsible for 1 out of 4 deaths in the United States, making it the No. 1 cause of death.

Did you know that despite the advances in surgical and pharmaceutical interventions, the number of deaths related to heart disease is still largely unchanged? That’s scary stuff.

The term “heart disease” is a general term that refers to many heart conditions.  The most common is coronary artery disease which decreases blood flow to the heart and can lead to a heart attack. We used to think heart disease was determined solely by genetics, but we now know that even if you are predisposed to heart disease, whether or not those genes are expressed can be impacted by your lifestyle.

That’s good news. This relatively new area of study is called epigenetics and it is demonstrating lifestyle factors have the ability to impact our health.

Why is this important? Because it means there is A LOT you can do to reduce your risk for chronic disease, including heart disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. They also say that about half of Americans have at least one of these risk factors. Other conditions and lifestyle factors that also increase the risk of heart disease include:

  • Diabetes
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Chronic stress

If you meet any of these criteria, talking to a healthcare provider is a good place to start. They will be able to refer you for proper testing and provide you with resources to start making changes.

Change is hard. Finding a good support system will be key.

Here at Jazzercise, we do our part to combat heart disease in February by challenging our customers to add more exercise to their weekly routine.  At our Hartford location, we have almost half of our membership participating in our annual Heartbeat Challenge.  They need to complete 24 classes in 29 days in order to accomplish the challenge and earn a Jazzercise tank top.

Our hope is that after the month is over, our customers will continue to exercise with us at least 3 days a week to stay healthy and fit!  We offer daily classes in Hartford, West Bend, Slinger, and Mayville.  Check us out at Jazzercise.com

References:

CDC.  (2019).  About Heart Disease.  Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/about.htm

Anderson, O. S., Sant, K. E., & Dolinoy, D. C. (2012).  Nutrition and epigenetics: an interplay of dietary methyl donors, one-carbon metabolism and DNA methylation. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 23(8), 853–859.  doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2012.03.003

Choi, S.-W., & Friso. S.  (2010).  Epigenetics: A New Bridge between Nutrition and Health,  Advances in Nutrition1(1): 8–16.  https://doi.org/10.3945/an.110.1004


Stefanie Kowaleski

 

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