In the United States, someone has a stroke or dies of a heart attack every 40 seconds. In order to reduce that number, GoMo Health is teaming up with the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, with founder Bob Gold chairing the CycleNation event in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
There are several ways to make an impact on health outcomes related to stroke and heart disease. Below are some of the ways that we can do so, together.
Education about living a heart healthy lifestyle
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking are three key risk factors for heart disease. The CDC estimates that about half of Americans have at least one of these three risk factors. One of the most important ways that we can work to reduce this staggering number is to increase education around what it means to live a heart healthy lifestyle.
What exactly is a heart healthy lifestyle? The American Stroke Association outlines the following heart healthy lifestyle changes that are doctor-recommended:
- Heart healthy eating – Heart healthy eating involves consuming vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, lean meats, poultry, eggs, nuts, soy products, legumes, and vegetable oils. Heart healthy diets limit sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and alcohol.
- Managing stress – Research has shown that there is a correlation between emotionally upsetting events and heart attacks or angina. Stress can contribute to cardiovascular risks, and some of the most common ways of coping with stress are not heart healthy (like drinking alcohol, smoking, or overeating). Learning how to manage stress can improve overall emotional and physical health.
- Aiming for a healthy weight – The more body fat a person has, the more likely they are to develop ischemic heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, and certain types of cancer. For adults, a healthy weight is usually when body mass index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 24.9. To determine your BMI, use this handy calculator.
- Physical activity – Routine physical activity and reduction in sedentary lifestyle not only improves physical fitness, but also lowers many heart disease risk factors. The recommended amount of aerobic exercise for everyone is at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week.
- Quitting smoking – Smoking raises your risk of heart disease and heart attack, and also worsens risk factors for other ischemic heart disease. The simplest suggestion is to quit smoking immediately and avoid secondhand smoke wherever possible.
More research and advocacy that transforms health
Research into stroke and heart disease results in the discovery of new methods of prevention and treatment. Because of research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the death rate for heart disease in America has declined by more than 60 percent since 1940. In that same time period, the death rate for stroke decreased by 70 percent. The American Heart Association’s federal advocacy priorities for research include protecting federal support for the NIH, advocacy for increased NIH funding for heart and stroke research.
On the state and community level, the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association efforts are focused on five major policy areas. These are: Tobacco Free, Quality Systems of Care, Healthy Eating, Active Living, and Access to Care. Learn more here.
Raising awareness and engaging with the community
CycleNation empowers people in the United States to use bikes to get brain and heart healthy. The organization hosts events to raise funds for community programs that will prevent stroke and heart disease.
Our CEO, Bob Gold, will be the Chairman for the upcoming CycleNation event in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Cycling strengthens the heart by lowering resting heart rates and reducing body fat levels.
Bob said about the event, “This event is geared to help New Jerseyans participate in healthy physical activity while raising funds to continue vital community programs and support research to end heart disease and stroke. I’m excited to be part of the CycleNation initiative, raising funds for research and improving resources for people with cardiovascular disease, and being part of an exciting event in my hometown of Asbury Park. As we see longer lifelong management of chronic conditions, we’re witnessing the direct impact of research advancements on the health and wellness of Americans. It’s exciting to be working with the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association on their mission to be a relentless force in building a world where active self-care management, behavioral modification and resilience are clear contributors to greater longevity and healthier years.”
Our united goal is to fund life-saving research that can lead to better treatment options and longer lives for the millions of Americans affected by stroke and heart disease.
Stationary Cycling Event
Asbury Park, New Jersey
Sunday, April 7, 2019