February is a time to show yourself some love by learning about your risks for heart disease and stroke and staying heart healthy. Since cardiovascular disease (CVD) including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure is the number one killer of women and men in the United States, education is important as a first step to bring attention to this important effort.
At East Ridge at Cutler Bay, our fitness center staff and health care personnel are geared to helping residents with improved lifestyle changes to fight this disease.
Many cardiovascular deaths can be prevented with healthier habits, healthier living spaces and better management of high blood pressure and diabetes.
Here are a few tips our health care team recommends that are part of the East Ridge lifestyle:
- Have a physical at least once a year even if you are healthy. You will be checked for high blood pressure and diabetes conditions that can be controlled and should not go unnoticed.
- Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis. You can check your blood pressure at home, at a pharmacy, or at a doctor’s office. At East Ridge, our residents can have their blood pressure checked at the Wellness Center and Health Center.
- Have your cholesterol checked. Another advantage of living at East Ridge is that residents can have their blood checked for cholesterol without leaving the community.
- Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options is important and includes limiting sodium. Be sure to eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. Eat foods which are low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol while high in fiber. Our dietary staff works with our food and beverage team in making sure there are healthy foods on the menu. Fresh fruits and salads are always available. This makes it easier to eat healthier as an East Ridge resident.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for CVD. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, health care professionals often calculate a number called body mass index (BMI). Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to measure a person’s body fat.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Living at East Ridge offers many options for exercising. Not only is the Wellness Center equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, there are numerous exercise classes offered both indoors and outside. The beautiful walking trails that meander through the community invite exercise. Additionally, there always are neighbors to see and exercise with so the time quickly passes and scarcely seems like exercise.
- Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for CVD. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. East Ridge has offered smoking cessation programs for staff and residents knowing how difficult it is to stop smoking. The community is a smoke-free environment.
- Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can increase your blood pressure. Men should stick to no more than two drinks per day, and women to no more than one.
- Manage your diabetes. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely, and talk with your health care team about treatment options. Our Vitality Counselor at East Ridge is a valued resource as well as our Health Center for helping our residents manage diabetes.
- Take your medicine. If you’re taking medication to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or another condition, follow the instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something. Our health care professionals are always available to our residents for medication education.
There are many wellness benefits of the East Ridge at Cutler Bay lifestyle. If you would like to learn more about East Ridge, please a call 305-256-3564.