jogging exercise

A Complete Look at the AHA’s Latest Diet and Lifestyle Tips

For nearly a century, the American Heart Association (AHA) has been focused on helping people live healthier lives. The organization does this by supporting research and advancing treatments in the areas of cardiovascular and stroke care.

In addition, the AHA serves as a public resource for people looking to better their health through diet and lifestyle choices. Keep reading to learn more about the AHA’s most recent diet and lifestyle recommendations.

 

Focus on Nutrition from All the Food Groups

For many people, eating enough food is not a problem, but they may still lack some of the vital nutrients needed to make them feel their best. To ensure that you’re getting the right nutrition, the AHA recommends that you follow a diet comprising healthy food choices from every food group. This includes a variety of fruits and vegetables with every meal and snack. The AHA also reminds people that all forms of vegetables are great options, including those that are fresh, frozen, canned, or dried.

In addition to promoting the consumption of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, the AHA recommends that people make whole grains, skinless fish and poultry, low-fat dairy products, and nuts and legumes a part of their daily diet. Moreover, beans and other legumes can be especially beneficial because they are a great source of protein, minerals, and fiber, but they don’t contain the saturated fat found in some animal proteins. Beans can also help you feel full longer and may even reduce blood cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

Finally, the AHA reminds people that healthier fats should be included as part of a well-rounded diet. These include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which have been associated with better heart health. The AHA points out that some great sources of these types of fats are certain cooking oils, including olive, canola, safflower, and soybean.

vegetables

 

Read Nutrition Labels and Cut out the Junk Food

As many people know, following a healthy diet is as much about what you don’t eat as it is about what you do eat. The AHA recommends carefully reading nutrition labels to avoid foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients. Reading nutrition labels is the best way to avoid consuming high levels of saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium, which have all been tied to heart disease.

To make it easier for people to identify nutrient-dense foods while avoiding junk calories, the AHA provides a nutrition label guide on its website. The guide outlines each section of the Nutrition Facts label, from the “Amount per Serving” information at the top to the “% Daily Value” at the bottom.

Finally, the AHA reminds consumers that the information shown on the Nutrition Facts label is based on a 2,000-calorie per day diet, which is a baseline target that is not appropriate for everyone.

 

Burn the Calories You Take in

Knowing how many calories you should be eating and drinking each day to maintain your weight is based on several factors, including your age, gender, and level of physical activity. The AHA points out that avoiding weight gain can be as simple as burning at least as many calories as you consume each day. To help keep the weight off, you can burn more calories by increasing the amount and/or intensity of your physical activity.

As a baseline, the AHA suggests that all people aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. The AHA’s recommendations are based on the 2nd edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, published by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Scientific evidence supports that there is a strong connection between physical activity and healthy weight as well as disease prevention and overall health and well-being.

The AHA offers several tips to add more activity to your daily routine. This includes parking farther away from your destination and opting to take the stairs rather than the elevator. The AHA also outlines several options for both moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity aerobic activities. Brisk walking, dancing, and gardening all fall into the moderate-intensity category, while activities such as running, jumping rope, and cycling over 10 miles per hour are all considered vigorous-intensity aerobic exercises.

exercise

 

Avoid Tobacco/Vaping

For many years, the AHA has been working hard to help people quit tobacco, a product that puts them at a much higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Today, in addition to focusing on traditional tobacco products, the AHA warns against the dangers of vaping, which health officials have recently connected to many cases of serious medical problems. To help people avoid the dangerous health effects associated with tobacco and vaping, the AHA raises awareness of the dangers and provides tips for quitting.

The organization’s five steps to quit smoking are as follows:

  1. Set your “Quit Day.”
  2. Choose your quitting method.
  3. Talk to your doctor for assistance.
  4. Make a plan for going forward after quitting.
  5. Quit tobacco for good starting with your Quit Day.

More information about these steps and the AHA’s other tips for healthy living are available at www.heart.org.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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military running

This Is a Full Look at Wounded Warrior’s Carry Forward 5K Challenge

wounded warrior projectAs a nonprofit organization dependent on the support of volunteers and donors, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) offers a variety of ways for people to get involved in advancing its work assisting military veterans and their families. It maintains corporate and community partnerships and oversees fundraising initiatives such as workplace giving programs.

In addition, the organization works with community members nationwide to host various events in cities throughout the country. One of WWP’s newest and most unique events is its Carry Forward 5K. Here’s a complete look at this fundraiser and awareness fitness challenge:

 

What is the Carry Forward 5K?

WWP’s Carry Forward 5K is an event that gives participants the opportunity to test their strength and stamina while raising money and awareness for the country’s military community. First launched in May 2018, this 5K challenge features three levels of participation for racers of all ability levels.

At the base level, individual participants and squads can show their patriotism and support for active-duty military members and veterans by carrying a flag throughout the 5K route. Those looking to increase the challenge can choose to carry a 1- to 100-pound weight as they run or walk to the finish line. Finally, participants seeking the ultimate challenge can carry another person from start to finish.

 

 

Where is it held?

Currently, WWP Carry Forward events are held in four US cities: San Diego, California; Nashville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Texas; and Jacksonville, Florida. The most recent Carry Forward 5K took place Saturday, August 24, 2019, in San Diego. Several celebrities participated in the event, including The Bachelor’s Colton Underwood and LA Chargers quarterback Cardale Jones. Along with the 5K, the Carry Forward activities included a morning concert featuring The Band Steele.

The 2019 Carry Forward series continues with 5Ks in Nashville on September 21, San Antonio on October 5, and Jacksonville on November 9. Fundraising seeks to generate between $100,000 and $200,000 for WWP’s various programs and services.

 

How can people get involved?

Those interested in taking part in a Carry Forward event have several options for getting involved. WWP supporters planning to walk, jog, or run the 5K can register as individual participants or members of a squad. Registering online for a Carry Forward event is a straightforward process that involves entering your name, choosing your event city, and selecting an activity level.

The standard adult registration fee is $35. With a promo code, active military members and veterans can receive $5 off, and youth participants ages 6 to 17 can receive $15 off. There is no registration fee for WWP Alumni participants. Individuals who don’t register online can still sign up the day of the event for $40.

In addition to paying the required registration fee, each participant is encouraged to lead their own Carry Forward fundraising campaign. WWP provides a variety of fundraising ideas, tools, and resources on its website. Along with receiving the satisfaction that comes from supporting the nation’s military community, fundraisers are rewarded for their efforts with gear and prizes such as Carry Forward shirts and other wearable mementos.

If you can’t make it to a Carry Forward city, you can register to host your own event in your community. These events must take place between July 4 and December 15 to qualify for fundraising incentives. Carry Forward supporters can also make general donations of any amount to the series online via a secure giving page.

 

What do Carry Forward events support?

As with other WWP fundraising initiatives, the money donated to Carry Forward events supports the organization’s wide range of programs, services, and activities for military veterans as well as their family members and caregivers. These programs focus on areas such as mental and physical wellness, career development, personal independence, and social interaction.

One of WWP’s major initiatives is its Wounded Care Network. It leverages a network of leading medical centers to provide comprehensive treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and other related conditions.

Wounded Warrior Project also oversees a resource center to help military veterans and family members sign up for WWP activities, process Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense benefits claims, and apply for emergency financial assistance. Other WWP programs focus on helping veterans connect with one another in their own communities.

Without Carry Forward and its other fundraising activities, WWP would not be able to continue providing these and other life-changing programs. The organization and its supporters raise tens of millions of dollars annually, including over $197 million in fiscal year 2018.

WWP fundraisers and supporters can also rest assured knowing that their time and resources are benefiting a great charity that maintains accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, top-rated status with Charity Navigator, and a GuideStar Platinum rating. More information about supporting Wounded Warrior Project can be found at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

weight-lifting health

Raising Awareness Year-Round at the American Heart Association

AHAlogoThe global team behind the American Heart Association (AHA) works each day of the year to improve the health of people worldwide. As part of these efforts, the organization oversees a variety of events and initiatives focused on health- and/or fitness-related themes. At AHA, nearly every month is dedicated to raising the public’s awareness of the ways they can stay safe and healthy.

Here’s an overview of several AHA months and events:

 

February – American Heart Month

A federally designated event, American Heart Month has been observed every year since 1964. The goal of American Heart Month is to bring awareness to the issue of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide. In recent years, American Heart Month has placed special focus on raising awareness of heart disease among women, even naming February 1 as National Wear Red Day.

 

March – Nutrition Month

Many of AHA’s themed months and events are focused on providing people with the tools and knowledge they need to lead healthier lives. During Nutrition Month, the organization offers tips and resources to help people make smart food choices that can benefit their heart and their health overall. Some of the resources highlighted during Nutrition Month include the AHA’s Healthy for Good initiative, which seeks to inspire healthy changes through good nutrition and exercise.

 

April – Move More Month

Like Nutrition Month in March, April’s Move More Month is part of the AHA’s mission to encourage people to improve their lives by striving for good health. According to the AHA, nearly half of all adults in the United States do not get enough physical activity to stay healthy. During Move More Month, the organization offers tips for exercise success and works to raise awareness of programs such as Kids Heart Challenge and the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge, both of which are aimed at increasing physical activity among the nation’s youth.

 

May – American Stroke Month and High Blood Pressure Education Month

At the AHA, May is focused on preventing and raising awareness of strokes and educating the public about high blood pressure, one of the main stroke risk factors. In partnership with the American Stroke Association, the AHA has assembled several tips to achieve ideal health and avoid hypertension/stroke-related problems. Tips include eating a well-balanced diet, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, and being physically active.

 

June – CPR and Summer Safety Month

In addition to helping people improve their health, the AHA serves as the nation’s global leader in providing CPR training and emergency cardiovascular care training. Throughout June, the organization highlights this work and raises awareness about the importance of knowing CPR. The AHA also takes time during the month to offer summer safety tips for people of all ages.

 

July – Quality Improvement and Summer Heart Health Month

While staying active in warm weather is important, it can also lead to heat-related illnesses that are often preventable. The AHA uses what is typically the hottest month of the year to help people avoid issues such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke. The Association’s leadership also uses the month of July to focus on its quality of care initiatives aimed at improving health care nationwide.

 

August – Heart Walk

Each August, over 1 million people in more than 300 cities across the country take part in the AHA Heart Walk, the organization’s largest fundraising event. Along with raising funds to fight heart disease and stroke, the Heart Walk gives people the opportunity to celebrate survivors of heart disease and stroke while literally taking steps to boost their own health.

 

September – World Heart Day and Other Awareness Events

September is a very busy month at the AHA. On September 29, the organization partners with the World Heart Federation in observing World Heart Day, which focuses on inspiring people around the globe to take control of their heart health. September is also devoted to raising awareness of peripheral artery disease, childhood obesity, atrial fibrillation, and cholesterol. All of these issues fit into the AHA’s broader goal of improving health worldwide.

 

October – World Stroke Day, World Thrombosis Day, and Diversity & Health Equity

October is another busy month at the AHA. One of the main events of the month is World Stroke Day, which is held on October 29. More than 7 million Americans are stroke survivors, and World Stroke Day aims to reduce this number in the future by helping people learn how to minimize their risk. The AHA also uses October to promote health equity and observe World Thrombosis Day, an annual event held on October 13.

 

November – Research and Eat Smart Month

Over the last seven decades, the AHA has spent over $4 billion on cardiovascular and stroke research. November is when the group highlights its past research while raising awareness of future research priorities. November is also Eat Smart Month, a time when the AHA educates the public about healthy eating habits. This education includes advice such as swapping traditional Thanksgiving fare for healthier options.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

woman

Military Service Groups Receive Boost from Wounded Warrior Project

wounded warrior projectWounded Warrior Project (WWP) has been busy recently advancing its various initiatives in support of military veterans and their families. Across the country, local WWP events and activities have provided opportunities for members to socialize and learn more about the many ways that they can benefit from veterans’ programs and services.

WWP has also been working nationally to promote its own activities while supporting those of other organizations. Recently, Wounded Warrior announced its latest investments and partnerships with nearly two dozen veteran and military service groups. These organizations will receive a combined $6.9 million from WWP, which has provided over $88 million to 165 organizations over the last decade. Keep reading for a closer look at a few of WWP’s 2019 community partners.

 

Veterans of Foreign Wars

With a history dating back to 1899, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has been supporting veterans, service members, and their families for well over a century. Over the years, the group has played a major role in helping to establish many of the programs that are available to retired and active-duty military personnel.

Today, VFW’s various programs help veterans of every generation to file VA claims and access mental-wellness support services. The organization also offers scholarships for post-secondary studies and financial grants for military families in need. In recent years, VFW has distributed nearly $20 million in scholarships and other financial assistance.

 

Warrior Reunion Foundation

A group recently founded by two Marine combat veterans, the Warrior Reunion Foundation has been operating since 2017. As its name suggests, the focus of the organization is on reuniting veterans and active military members who served with one another in combat. Since its inception, the group has organized several military reunions and reunited more than 300 combat veterans.

The Warrior Reunion Foundation’s programs help military members to reconnect and build support networks comprised of individuals with similar shared experiences. With the support of individual donors and groups such as WWP, the Warrior Reunion Foundation is able to continue to expand its work.

 

Homes for Our Troops

For the last 15 years, Homes for Our Troops has been building and donating specially adapted custom homes for post-9/11 veterans who have been severely injured in combat. The organization also continues to support the veterans that it serves after their homes are completed by providing pro bono financial planning assistance, home ownership education, and warranty coverage. Additionally, the group works with other nonprofits, as well as corporations and government entities, to ensure that each veteran has access to the assistance that they need.

Since its founding in 2004, Homes for Our Troops has built more than 270 specially adapted homes across the country. The group’s work has earned it recognition as a top-rated military charity with Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and GuideStar. Currently, Homes for Our Troops is overseeing home-building projects in several states.

 

Hiring Our Heroes

Hiring Our Heroes is a US Chamber of Commerce Foundation initiative that launched in 2011. The initiative leverages the support of local chambers of commerce, as well as various strategic partners, to ensure that veterans, active service members, and military spouses have access to meaningful employment opportunities in their communities.

A regular participant in job fairs and other events nationwide, Hiring Our Heroes offers a free suite of digital tools. These tools include online resume builders and resources to help veterans transition from military to civilian careers. Over the years, the Hiring Our Heroes initiative has helped hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses to obtain employment.

 

Elizabeth Dole Foundation

The United States is home to more than 5.5 million military caregivers, including spouses, parents, children, and friends who are committed to supporting veterans with physical and/or behavioral health issues. To ensure that these men and women have access to their own support services, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation promotes public policy, advances research, and leads collaborative efforts to recognize the work of military caregivers and promote their well-being.

Some of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s current programs and activities include the Campaign for Inclusive Care, which seeks to improve communication and collaboration between veterans’ health care teams and their caregivers. Wounded Warrior Project is a coalition partner supporting these efforts. WWP is also helping to fund research by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to examine the needs of children of military caregivers.

 

WWP’s Other 2019 Partners

In addition to these five organizations, WWP is working with several other groups on single or multi-year partnerships throughout 2019. They include the following: Center for a New American Security; Vets’ Community Connections; America’s Warrior Partnership; Team Red, White and Blue; HillVets; and the National Military Family Association.

WWP’s work with these groups will help to raise awareness about the issues that the nation’s veterans face and ensure that they have access to programs, tools, and other resources to support their physical and behavioral health and overall well-being.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.