Two lifestyle changes for a healthier heart

PADUCAH, KY – Obesity rates in west Kentucky have increased the last few years. In McCracken County, obesity rates increased from 24 percent in 2013 to 41 percent in 2016.

Turning your health around can seem daunting with all the crazy diets out there. That’s why the American Heart Association has a new plan called Healthy For Good.

We all have a daily routine. At Angela Copeland’s job, she sits most of the day. Her chair is where Copeland was when she started feeling chest pain.

“I had to be taken to the hospital. I found out that I had what’s called a spontaneous coronary artery dissection —very rare,” said Copeland. Since then, she has a new routine.

“I get up and go to barre (class), usually the 5:30 in the morning classes are the ones I like,” said Copeland.

The American Heart Association says moving more is the first step to a healthier heart and life. Baptist Health Paducah cardiologist Dr. Martin Rains recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity, such as walking, a week or 75 minutes of more intense activity, such as running.

What’s step two? “Eat by color,” Dietician Renee Waggoner said. “Each vegetable has something a little different.”

She said there is no such thing as bad food. Waggoner said you don’t have to give up your favorite things. It’s all about moderation and adding some color to your diet.

She said food can make a big difference in how you feel. Fried foods or salty foods can often make people with heart problems not feel too good.

You don’t have to wait until the new year to make changes. You can get some of your steps in at the Heart Walk on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Noble Park in Paducah. Registration is at 8 a.m., and the walk begins at 9 a.m. It is free to participate!

You can find out more information about this story and others by following Leah Shields on Facebook and Twitter.

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