January is National Blood Donor Month. According to the American Red Cross we are in dire need of blood donors, especially in the winter months and during COVID. They share this info: a common new year's resolution is to be healthier and you may be surprised to learn these benefits of donating blood: (1) reduce iron overload which can lower risk of heart attacks, (2) lower certain types of cancer risk, (3) replenish blood cells, (4) burn calories-you can burn @650 calories every time you donate a pint of blood - that's about the same as jumping rope for 50 minutes!, (5) keep your liver healthy, (6) reveal potential health issues-blood donors are screened for ailments including anemia, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Zika virus and others, (7) make the world a better place - it costs nothing to save a life...
Contact RedCrossBlood.org for a location near you.
February is American Heart Month, heart disease being the leading cause of death for men and women in the USA. The good news is that heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. There is so much that can be shared about this, but I will focus briefly on blood pressure and DASH(Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).Per healthfinder.gov, blood pressure readings of 140(systolic) over 90(diastolic) (140/90) are considered elevated or "hypertension", and readings of 130-139/82-89 are pre-hypertension. It is important to get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis, as you may have high blood pressure without even knowing it. Up until the onset of COVID and all the mitigating measures that have been put in place we were holding monthly Blood Pressure Clinics during our Coffee House gatherings in the Parish Hall after Sunday mass. Hopefully these events will resume when it is safe to do so.
The DASH eating plan, used along with other lifestyle changes (staying active,15-30 minutes of brisk walking most days of the week, taking medications regularly, among other things), can help you prevent and control blood pressure and lower LDL "bad" cholesterol. *Of course, it is wise to check with your doctor first*. DASH promotes eating lower calorie foods, fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, high fiber foods, low salt and sodium foods. Just google DASH dietary plan to get all the info you'll need. Bon appetit!
Wishing you health in mind, body and spirit, and a safe,healthy, warm winter.
~Lyn Florio, RN