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Wednesday February 21st 2018

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Heart Health-Tracking Running Wolf

By Connie Norman

Hello from Running Wolf Fitness Center.   I have asked one of our partners –Indian Health Board of Minneapolis Inc. staff- person- Maria Krisch-Heart Disease Prevention Specialist to share her knowledge and information with you this month. Thanks Maria!

By Maria Krisch

Last month was Heart Health Month, which gives us this wonderful opportunity to talk about heart health in the community.  Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for American Indians and Alaskan Natives and others.  Many of the risk factors are things that we can do something about through simple lifestyle changes like eating better and being more physically active.  Some of the biggest risk factors include high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

High Blood Pressure:  A good way to think about blood pressure is to think about a garden hose.  When you turn on the hose, water comes out slowly but surely just like blood pressure brings blood through our arteries.  When you put your finger over the end the pressure increases which can be helpful if you need to spray something further away.  This same pressure increase is not helpful in our arteries, though, and can cause significant damage to our hearts, brains and kidneys in the form of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure.  We often times can’t feel when our blood pressure is high, which is why it is so important to get it checked out at your clinic and your local fire station as often as you can.

High Cholesterol: Cholesterol is a fat like substance in our blood. Just like blood pressure, we need it to survive, and our body makes all of the cholesterol we will ever need.  The problem is when cholesterol gets too high it starts to build up on the walls of our arteries making them narrowed.  This limits the amount of blood that can get by leading to heart attacks and strokes.  Like our blood pressure, we cannot feel when our cholesterol is too high, which is why it is important to have it checked out once a year with your doctor.

If you need a cholesterol test, call Maria at 612-721-9803 to schedule one today.  If you are uninsured or your insurance doesn’t cover, we can cover the cost of the test if done at the Indian Health Board though our Heart Health Program for our Native people.

In the Indian Health Board Heart Health program, we meet as a group and share healthy meals while talking more about the risk factors for heart disease, as well as how you can change them through healthy eating and an active lifestyle.  We can give you important tools like regular blood pressure and cholesterol checks to help you know what your numbers are and what they mean.  We also help you get more physically active through a free membership to Running Wolf Fitness Center and an orientation and membership to NiceRide MN, which has all of the green bikes located throughout Minneapolis and St Paul.  In addition to this you will become CPR certified through the Red Cross so that you can bring the lifesaving skill of CPR home to your family and friends.

Call Maria @ (612)721-9803 to find out more information.
This activity is made possible by a grant from the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (EHDI) of the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Minority & Multicultural Health, through an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature.

For information on Running Wolf Fitness Center please call (612)872-2388

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