On Friday, February 3rd Spring Creek Senior Partners (SCSP) celebrated “National Wear Red Day” with a seminar on “Tips for heart healthy living: Managing Weight, healthy diet and exercise” presented by Dr. Ilya Kleyn, Dr. Hugue Charles and Dr. Jason Shevetz.
Gathered in the SCSP multipurpose room, about 30 seniors donned red shirts, sweaters and accessories in honor of “National Wear Red Day.” The American Hearth Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute created this campaign in 2003 as a reminder that heart disease is the number one killer of women. “This month, the heart symbol is not only for Valentine’s Day. It symbolizes the importance of maintaining a healthy heart,” announced Malika Djabbarkhodjaeva, SCSP Coordinator of Volunteers and Special Projects, to the group of seniors.
Every year one in three women die of heart disease and stroke each year reports the Centers for Disease Control. In light of this staggering statistic, people throughout the United States wear red attire on the first Friday in February every year to raise awareness.
During the SCSP seminar, Dr. Charles explained to the seniors that their hearts are very much like a car’s engine. If the engine breaks down, the other parts are not going to work either. “The human body, like a car needs maintenance,” said Dr. Charles. For example, chest pain could be due to too much cholesterol intake, causing the arteries to clog and the heart to strain itself to pump blood.
“That is why whenever you see your doctor you should know your ABC’s of health. ‘A’ should be your sugar intake, ‘B’ your blood pressure levels and ‘C’ your cholesterol,” said Dr. Charles.
One of the points stressed during the seminar was “attentiveness.” Paying attention to your body and contacting your doctor immediately when you are having pain.
Gloria Radgman attended the event with a basic knowledge of heart health due to her personal battle with heart disease. In addition to having a stent procedure, Radgman is also diabetic. The Spring Creek Towers’ resident learned the difference between type one and type two diabetes (one you are born with and type two is developing it when you are older). “I thought this seminar was so informative, and I think a lot of people in the community could benefit from these talks,” Radgman said.
“Wear Red Day covers everyday living. We especially need to monitor our weight because the more over weight or obese a person is, the harder the strain is on the heart,” said Dr. Kleyn.
Since the inception of “National Wear Red Day” 14 years ago, the American Heart Association believes that their awareness campaign has helped inspire healthy eating habits, increase exercise practices, motivate women to check their cholesterol levels and develop healthy heart plans with their doctors.
“The perfect gift this Valentine’s Day is the gift of heart health,” said SCSP Director Theodora Ziongas. SCSP is dedicated to helping seniors make healthier decisions by providing informative seminars, exercise programs and health screenings.
At the end of the seminar, the seniors were given a healthy yogurt snack with granola and fruit. They were also handed goodie bags filled with portion control plates, a refrigerator magnet to remind them to always pay attention to their heart health and a calendar to monitor appointment dates.
Photos: Amanda Moses
Knowing Heart Attack Symptoms
According to the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education, the typical symptoms of a heart attack are:
- Chest discomfort or pain, such as a tight ache, pressure, fullness or squeezing in your chest lasting more than a few minutes. Sometimes this discomfort may come and go.
- Upper body pain: You may feel pain or discomfort on your shoulders, arms, back, neck, teeth or jaw. Also upper body pain could occur with no chest discomfort.
- Stomach pain: You may feel pain in your stomach, similar feeling to heartburn. l Shortness of breath: Panting for air or the need to take deep breaths often occurs before you develop chest discomfort. But you may feel this way without experiencing any chest discomfort.
- Lightheadedness: You may feel dizziness or like you might pass out.
- Nausea and vomiting
It is very important to pay attention to your body because most heart attacks begin with subtle symptoms. What may seem like discomfort, which can come and go, may actually be something very serious.