Online Staff Report
Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) is offering a “Heart Month” special on the mornings of Feb. 7-9 of a Lipid Panel and Comprehensive Metabolic Panel for $25 (regularly $40). These tests require a 10-hour fast, but it is recommended to drink plenty of water prior to the screening.
The clinics (walk-in, no appointment necessary) will be offered at Heartland Community Church, 1280 S. Alpine Road, Rockford. Hours are 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday, Feb. 7-8; and 8 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Feb. 9.
Following are tips from the WCHD about how to prevent heart disease:
• Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high blood cholesterol. Limiting salt or sodium in your diet can also lower your blood pressure.
• Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate a number called the body mass index (BMI). Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to measure a person’s excess body fat. If you know your weight and height, you can calculate your BMI.
• Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
• Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. So, if you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease.
• Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which causes high blood pressure.
For more information, call the WCHD’s Health Promotion office at (815) 720-4264, or visit the WCHD website at www.wchd.org.
Posted Feb. 6, 2013