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Monthly Health Topics

Get Heart Healthy for Hispanic Heritage Month

By George Hulse, Vice President of External Affairs, Healthfirst

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to reflect on the rich cultural history and traditions of Hispanics. So from September 15 to October 15, let’s honor this vibrant segment of our community by talking about a vital issue we can all appreciate—our health!

Heart disease is the second leading cause of death for Hispanic-Americans in the United States. In 2008, 20 percent of all Hispanic American deaths were caused by heart disease.

So, what can we all do to prevent heart disease? Men older than 35 and women older than 40 need to check and maintain appropriate cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure levels. Make an appointment to see your doctor for a checkup today.

It’s also important to maintain a healthy diet and a normal body weight for your age, sex, and height. Reduce your sodium intake to help lower blood pressure, as well as the risk of heart attack and stroke. Also, incorporate moderate to intense exercise about 30 minutes a day, five times a week.

Heart disease is thoroughly preventable if you take good care of yourself. Honor Hispanic Heritage Month by taking some time out to improve your heart health and explore and celebrate Hispanic-American achievements around the city.

There are many fun celebrations to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month. One that is focused on heart health and other health activities is the Familia y Hogar Expo in New York City. This event will take place from September 20-21 at the New York Hilton Midtown (1335 Avenue of the Americas) in Manhattan, and my organization has been sponsoring the Familia y Hogar Expo for four years.

This popular, fun-filled day features activities to educate and entertain you about Hispanic culture and business. There will be health screenings, beauty makeovers, fashion shows, crafts, financial seminars, and much more. Some of the things I’m most excited for are the special fitness clinic led by Ary Nuñez, an internationally renowned celebrity trainer and Nike-sponsored athlete, and a cooking demo led by celebrity chef Elsie Ramos. Come join the fun and help celebrate the richness of Hispanic heritage!

George Hulse is Vice President of External Affairs at Healthfirst. For more tips on leading a healthier lifestyle, visit the Healthfirst website at www.healthfirst.org

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