It’s Valentine’s Day and hearts & love are everywhere! February is also American Heart Month, a month designated by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to raise awareness about Heart Health.
In keeping with the theme of hearts & love this month, we put together six ways you can give your heart, or someone else’s heart, some TLC this month and throughout the year that could potentially save your life or the lives of the ones you love!
1. Eat a Heart-Smart Diet!
The American Heart Association suggests limiting red meat, which is high in saturated fat and eating a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry and fish. And you don’t have to sacrifice taste to be heart healthy. Try one of these vetted healthy heart recipes from the Food Network.
2. Know Your Risks with the InBody Body Composition Machine at the Y
Age, gender, genetics, life style, and even weight can factor into your risk of having a cardiac event. Some you have the ability to change. Others you can’t, but knowing these risks can help you manage them. Learn more
With the InBody 570, you are able to get a comprehensive body composition analysis that provides data about your body in 45 seconds. This innovative machine measures the amount of fat, visceral fat, lean muscle mass, and water levels and in your body to help you know exactly where they stand with your health. The use of InBody is FREE to all members of the Summit YMCA ($100 Value). Learn more about Inbody at the Summit YMCA.
3. Recognize the Warning Signs of a Heart Attack
Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms are the most common signs of a heart attack. Women, however, may experience subtle symptoms that may go unrecognized as a cardiac event. These include unusual fatigue, shortness of breath, and neck/jaw and back pain. Learn more about symptoms.
4. Get Certified
The Y offers valuable certifications and training classes like CPR and Lifeguard Trainings for those 15 years and older to learn skills to save lives in cardiac emergencies.
There are also special Apps you can download that help in a cardiac emergency. These include Real Time CPR Guide
an app guiding you through the steps of CPR and Pulse Point that locates and alerts people nearby who are trained in CPR to come and help.
5. Improve Your Cardio Fitness
The Cardio programs at the Summit Area YMCA are designed to get your heart pumping! From high repetition movements to low impact cardio strength training, our workouts are suitable for all levels of fitness and are a great way to maintain or improve your cardio fitness. Check out our various fitness classes at the Summit YMCA and Berkeley Heights YMCA for your next workout. From yoga to indoor cycling, to INSANITY and Cardio HIIT, to Barre, Zumba, and more!
To raise Heart Health Awareness this month, the Summit YMCA will be offering a one-time Heart Healthy Zumba class for members on Feb 23.
Also consider the Y’s Healthy Hearts Cardiac Maintenance Program that focuses on cardiovascular exercise, building muscle strength and working on flexibility in a small group non-medically supervised setting.
6. Know what to do for a heart attack While no one wants to think about this, the reality is that it could happen to anyone and it’s best to be prepared. Know these crucial steps you can take to save lives.
Check the scene for safety
Call 911 or assign someone specifically to call 911
Check for breathing. If there is no breathing, begin CPR.
For more detailed instructions on how to perform CPR, visit: The Red Cross
The Summit Area YMCA is committed to healthy living in our community and supporting every person’s wellness journey to heart health. We hope to see you here often taking exercise classes, working out in our fitness center, and staying active and healthy! Happy and Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day to All!
About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve more than 10,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need.