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Mindfulness Meditation & Your Health

January 12, 2018

Mindful Meditation 1.12.18There are many benefits to mindfulness meditation – or the psychological state of experiencing the present moment – that go beyond reducing stress. Not only has it been linked to a lower risk of developing heart disease and hypertension but it may also help in the development of healthier habits. Continue reading “Mindfulness Meditation & Your Health” »

Heart Failure Clinic

January 4, 2018

HEART FAILURE BLOG 12.21.17Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition affecting five million Americans, according to Emory Healthcare. It is the reason for 11 million doctors’ visits every year and is responsible for more hospitalizations than all cancers combined.

Along with its vast presence in the U.S. population, its mortality rates unfortunately remain relatively high. More than half of those diagnosed will pass away within five years, according to Emory Healthcare. It is the goal of the First Coast Cardiovascular Institute (FCCI) team to give patients with CHF a chance at living a quality life with their diagnosis. Continue reading “Heart Failure Clinic” »

New Guidelines Redefine High Blood Pressure

December 28, 2017

BP BLOG POST 12.28.17We’ve all been there – sitting in the doctor’s office lobby waiting to be called back for your appointment. Before you see your provider, you go through a series of small tests to check your vital signs: height, weight, temperature, and most importantly, blood pressure. Although it may seem like just another mundane aspect of your appointment, checking your blood pressure is actually one of the most important steps in detecting hypertension – especially with the new guidelines that redefine the starting point of high blood pressure.  Continue reading “New Guidelines Redefine High Blood Pressure” »

Spotting a Heart Attack Before It Becomes a Heart Attack

November 30, 2017

HEART ATTACK BLOG POST 11.30.17By Priscilla Christopher

Every 40 seconds, someone has a heart attack, according to the American Heart Associations’ (AHA) 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Report. Its symptoms and warning signs vary based on several factors: age, family, personal health history, gender and lifestyle. Many people ignore warning signs long before the attack occurs. Continue reading “Spotting a Heart Attack Before It Becomes a Heart Attack” »

Can’t Hit the Gym? Hit your Desk!

November 16, 2017

DESKERCISE BLOG 11.16.17By Steve Milano

Adding short exercises to your daily routine – even if only for 5 or 10 minutes – can help maintain and improve your health. Even if you can’t make it to the gym, there are mini exercises that you can do right at your desk to keep you in shape. Continue reading “Can’t Hit the Gym? Hit your Desk!” »

Thoughtful Tuesday

October 24, 2017

THOUGHTFUL TUESDAY 10.24.17“Inner peace is the new success.”

Meditation not only helps reduce stress, but also lowers your risk of heart disease. Dr. DeNeen believes in the importance of daily meditation: “My day is not the same without taking a few minutes for myself in the morning,” she says.

Passionate Team of Experts Save Patient During Hurricane Irma

October 19, 2017

PCMC CATH LAB STAFF BLOG 10.19.17Billy Fowler woke up from a late nap feeling pressure on his chest and pain in his arms. He told his wife he didn’t feel well. “She told me to take a few aspirins,” Billy recalls, “But this didn’t help.”

A little while later, Billy looked over at his wife and told her, “You need to take me to the hospital.” Continue reading “Passionate Team of Experts Save Patient During Hurricane Irma” »

Cholesterol Education

September 28, 2017

CHOLESTEROL EDUCATION 9.28.17By Lauren Dimitrov, RDN, MPH, LDN

Did you know that September is National Cholesterol Education Month? It’s important to maintain your cholesterol levels because high cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease and heart attack. Thankfully, with the help of your physician or registered dietitian, your diet and other lifestyle changes can help you reach and maintain your cholesterol goals.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in your body and in many foods. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Our body naturally produces plenty of cholesterol, but many foods also contain it.

There are two kinds of cholesterol that travel through your bloodstream: LDL and HDL. LDL is known as “bad” cholesterol because too much can lead to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. HDL is known as “good” cholesterol because it works in unison with your liver to remove excess cholesterol from your body.

There are several lifestyle choices you can make to maintain healthy cholesterol levels:

Eat heart healthy foods

  • Incorporate healthy fats, leaner meats, low-fat dairy, and monounsaturated fats – found in olive and canola oils – into your diet.
  • Eliminate trans-fats, which increase LDL and lower HDL, from your diet. Trans-fats are common in processed foods and labeled as “partially-hydrogenated oils.” Look for this term on the ingredient’s list of products.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, walnuts, almonds, and flaxseed as these decrease triglycerides and reduce blood pressure.
  • Increase the amount of high fiber foods in your diet, such as oats, fruits, and vegetables, which helps lower LDL levels.

Exercise and be physically active most days of the week

  • Exercise improves cholesterol by raising your HDL levels. Exercising for just 10 minutes several times per day can help improve your cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy weight.
  • If you smoke – quit! Within just 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate decrease. Within one year, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker.

Sometimes healthy lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower cholesterol levels. If your doctor recommends medication to lower your cholesterol, take it as prescribed, but continue with your lifestyle changes. Everything you do to improve your health matters!

Stress & Heart Health: The Connection

August 17, 2017

HEART BLOG 8.17.17Stress is an inevitable aspect of life. Whether it’s the stress of meeting deadlines at work or school, managing your finances, or juggling multiple obligations between family and friends, stress is something that is part of our daily lives.  Not only can stress leave you feeling mentally exhausted, it can also produce very real physiologic symptoms that may affect your heart. Continue reading “Stress & Heart Health: The Connection” »

How to Have a Healthy Summer

July 21, 2017

blogWith summer in full swing it’s more important than ever to maintain your health during these hot summer days! Whether you are taking a vacation, staying at home, or enjoying a day at the beach, these tips will help you stay happy and healthy this summer:

  • Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is essential in helping your heart pump blood efficiently throughout your body. While a tall glass of water is the most direct way to keep your body hydrated, there are other sources of water that can be found in variety of foods such as watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, and cucumbers.
  • Wear sunscreen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sunscreen can help prevent your risk of developing skin cancer during your lifetime. The AAD recommends using a broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect your skin.
  • Wear sunglasses. Although you may not realize it, the sun’s damaging rays can affect your eyes just like they affect your skin increasing your risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration (or vision loss), and even eyelid cancer.
  • Beat heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when your body’s temperature reaches 104°F or more, which can cause brain, heart, and kidney damage if not treated promptly. Symptoms of heat stroke include nausea, vomiting, headache, and tachycardia. Beat the heat this summer by avoiding intense outdoor activities between noon and 3:00pm when the sun is at its hottest.
  • Make a healthy summer treat. Rather than reaching for an ice cream cone, which can be full of empty calories, try making your own fresh fruit pops for a sweet treat that’s also good for you. Simply mash up some of your favorite fruit in a cup (such as strawberries, mangoes, or watermelon) and freeze overnight with a popsicle stick in the middle. The next day you’ll have a healthy sweet treat to enjoy!
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