Special Sections

Young at Heart Feb 2022 Final

Issue link: https://www.ifoldsflip.com/i/1454919

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 3

February 2022 edition Special Advertising Supplement to the Santa Cruz Sentinel Young at Heart Young at Heart In Santa Cruz County W H E R E Y O U L I V E C o m e s e e w h y D o m i n i c a n O a k s i s S a n t a C r u z ' s b e s t r e t i r e m e n t c o m m u n i t y y e a r a f t e r y e a r . V i s i t D o m i n i c a n O a k s . c o m f o r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n o r t o s c h e d u l e a t o u r o f t h e c o m u n i t y LIC.# 440708773 Continued on page 2 Give yourself some heart health love By Tara Fatemi Walker Since February is American Heart Month, we are taking this opportunity to increase awareness of how to have a healthy heart and prevent heart disease. We recently spoke with Dr. Karla Panameño, who is Associate Chief Medical Officer - Family Practice at Watsonville's Salud Para La Gente. Heart disease is the leading cause of death and disease in men and women in the U.S. and across the world. Worldwide, 32 percent of deaths are due to heart disease. In the U.S., 1 in 3 individuals suffers from a heart condition. "This is not surprising when we look at how obesity and diabetes, two big risk fac- tors, are also rising due to poor lifestyle choices, but I would further argue that for some individuals it is about lifestyle con- straints," says Dr. Pan- ameño. "Because there are communities, one of them our senior popu- lation, in which income and social determinants of health affect what is readily available—foods, areas of recreation for exercise, access to health care, and nutrition edu- cation." Preventing heart disease is important, of course, to live a long life—but it also has "…implications on the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities," she adds. "Many times, when I see a patient following up in clinic who has been diagnosed with heart dis- ease, they speak of how their heart condition has limited their ability to do the things they love. This includes spending time with loved ones (because they had a long hospi- talization or attending multiple clinic visits), participating in hobbies or social activities, being independent or holding a job." Smoking, says Dr. Panameño, is one of the biggest culprits of heart disease. "Quitting can lower your risk substan- tially." The link between smoking tobacco and decreased health was es- tablished in 1964, when the inaugural Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health was published and included statements about smok- ing causing lung cancer and heart disease. This was just one year after President Lyndon B. John- son created the first-ever American Heart Month. He did this in February 1963 and encouraged "… the people of the United States to give heed to the nationwide problem of the heart and blood-vessel diseases, and to support the programs required to bring about its solution." People are at risk for cardiovascular disease if they have health condi- tions such as diabetes, elevated cholesterol, or elevated blood pressure. Or if they are obese, lead an unhealthy diet, or are not physically active. "Knowledge leads to empowerment and if the general public learns about how to prevent heart disease and recog- nize risk factors, this will allow them to take control of their health and make healthier choices and live fulfilling lives." Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many of us have experienced higher stress due to sever- al factors, and we haven't done as much to take care of our physical, men- tal, and spiritual health. "COVID has changed many of our daily norms and life routines," says Dr. Panameño. "It has created a bigger barrier for those who before COVID had limited access to resourc- es, such as the senior com- munity. It has been a dras- tic change for everyone. But as humans, we learn to adapt." As a medical professional, Dr. Pana- meño has adjusted so that her advice fits 'COVID standards.' "Some of the ideas I share with patients to regain control of their health include trying new things and learning new hobbies. This might be a great time to learn to cook a healthy recipe or put a healthy spin on a dish at home from your favorite restaurant." She personally loves doing this. "Sometimes it can taste much better than the original and you gain some pride in your hard work. This is also a good way to stay home and avoid restaurants if you are vulnerable and need to avoid large crowds." Dr. Panameño recom- mends ideally doing a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly. "It is not only good for the body but also helpful for memory, mood, and maintaining cognition." Other tips on exercise? "Many gyms, despite being open, might not be ideal for those who need to protect themselves from larger crowds—or maybe the monthly payments are too much because there has been a change in income." She encourages individuals to look for home exercis- es on YouTube videos. "You'd be surprised to see everything from Yoga, Tai chi, all sorts of dancing, Zumba, HIIT, walking exercises, and low impact step to fit every fitness level including seniors. I like doing a walking exer- cise series while listening to a podcast, it is very low impact, and it makes you sweat! I know some of our older population might not know how to use YouTube but ask a grandchild or child. It can be pretty easy to learn and set up — and engages the family as well." Walking outside is also a great option and provides time for mindfulness exercises "…such as deep breaths, listening to a favorite tune, or whisper- ing positive affirmations. Combining both has been shown to improve mood and self-esteem. Or simply just listen to the birds, stop to admire some flowers, or try a new place such as a nearby park or beach." There are many different opinions on how people should eat for optimum health. Dr. Panameño feels that food recommen- Dr. Karla Panameño Associate Chief Medical Officer- Family Practice at Salud Para La Gente (contributed)

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Special Sections - Young at Heart Feb 2022 Final