Protect your heart health

Published 8:29 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Diseases of the heart can be devastating and life-altering conditions, but many of them are preventable or manageable with diet and exercise as well as medications and the care of a doctor.

That’s the message that Marianne Walston, director of critical and intermediate care at Sentara Obici Hospital, wants to get out there during Heart Health Month, which begins today.

“I want to spread the word on chronic disease management,” Walston told a News-Herald reporter this week. “I want people to be better equipped to manage their chronic disease. That is the No. 1 goal.”

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The annual Heart Health Fair and Walk will be held at 10 a.m. Feb. 16 at the YMCA, 2769 Godwin Blvd., across from the hospital.

Visitors at the event will have the chance to get cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose screenings, all of which helps them know more about their risk of developing conditions that affect heart health.

All of the screenings will be free of charge, and that helps both current heart patients as well as people who need to know more about their risk.

Information about diabetes, nutrition, exercise and advance care planning will also be distributed.

The event is for all ages, and young folks can learn something as well.

“You want to teach the young kids about it as well, because they’re at risk,” Walston said. “They’re also at home with their mom, dad and their grandparents to help and intervene with them. It affects all ages for a myriad of reasons.”

Healthy snacks and giveaways will also be handed out at the event.

Everyone who wants to know more about protecting their heart should attend this event, and we thank Sentara and the YMCA for putting it on.

Call 934-4621 for more information about the event. And don’t forget that heart health isn’t limited to one day or one month. Everyone should make choices every day to protect their heart.