Paul Simon came up with 50 ways to leave a lover; Utah Valley Regional Medical Center has come up with 50 ways to keep loving longer.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the hospital's founding, the cardiac rehabilitation center has developed a list of 50 things a person can do to have a healthier heart.Approximately 1.5 million people a year suffer heart attacks, with 550,000 of those attacks resulting in death. Heart attacks typically occur in people in their 60s or 70s.
Heart care tips:
1. Don't smoke.
2. Keep your total cholesterol level below 200 to decrease the risk of plaque buildup.
3. Eat two or three servings of fish a week to help lower cholesterol levels.
4. Increase consumption of fibrous foods, especially oat bran, to lower cholesterol levels.
5. Exercise 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
6. Exercise at least three times a week (five times optimal).
7. Warm up before exercising.
8. Cool down after exercising to decrease risk of heart attacks.
9. Check blood cholesterol levels every year if your levels are normal.
10. If your cholesterol levels are more than 200, get a complete blood lipid profile every three to six months.
11. Your exercise program may include brisk walking.
12. Your exercise program may include rowing on a rowing machine.
13. Swimming is another good form of exercise.
14. You may use cycling for your exercise program.
15. Cross country skiing is a good exercise program to use.
16. You can run for your exercise.
17. You can do aerobics in your exercise program.
18. People with arthritis can walk, run or do aerobics in a pool.
19. Have a doctor monitor high blood pressure problems.
20. If you are overweight, begin a weight loss program. Each pound of fat has two to four miles of blood vessels the heart has to push blood through.
21. Keep your blood pressure under 140/90.
22. Take a deep breath when under stress.
23. Exercise when under stress.
24. Contact the Behavioral Medicine Department for information regarding classes on stress reduction.
25. Check food labels for fat content. Remember, one gram of fat has nine calories; protein and carbohydrates have four calories per gram.
26. Avoid foods that contain hydrogenated fat, palm oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter.
27. Avoid cooking with shortening, lard, butter or stick margarine.
28. If you do use margarine, use types that are more liquid at room temperature, such as corn, safflower and soybean oils.
29. If you eat beef, buy extra lean.
30. If you eat beef, cut away all the fat.
31. If you eat beef, drain all the grease off after cooking.
32. Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
33. Eat more chicken (without the skin) instead of red meat.
34. Use turkey in place of red meats.
35. Limit yourself to three egg yolks per week.
36. Limit lean beef to three ounces three times per week.
37. Know your hereditary health history; start now to make health changes.
38. If you are diabetic, keep your blood sugar in check to avoid damaging blood vessels, which can cause plaque buildup.
39. If you are overweight, exercise.
40. If you are overweight, limit caloric intake as prescribed by a doctor.
41. At work, take your breaks.
42. When taking your breaks at work, don't sit; instead, go on a walk.
43. When exercising, keep your heart rate at 60 to 85 percent of maximum heart rate (220 minus your age equals your maximum heart rate).
44. If you are feeling a lot of stress, and it is caused by factors out of your control, tell yourself there is nothing you can do and accept it.
45. Don't drink excessively; drinking decreases HDL (good cholesterol) and increases blood cholesterol levels.
46. If recommended by your physician, take one aspirin a day with meals.
47. If you have questions about heart health, call the UVRMC Heart Hotline at 379-7102.
48. Walk in the University Mall mall-walking program, sponsored by UVRMC and the mall merchants, Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. For more information call 373-7850, ext. 4770.
49. Attend the four-part lecture series on Stress Management sponsored by UVRMC's Behavioral Medicine Department every Thursday evening. Call 373-7850, ext. 2458 for more information.
50. Learn to recognize heart attack symptoms: chest pain (ranging from mild achiness, tightness or pressure to severe crushing pain); shortness of breath; pain from chest radiating to either left or right arm and to neck or jaw, or between shoulder blades in back; indigestion; and nausea or sweating with chest pain.