Exercise Offers Health Benefits at Any Age

Most of us have heard the adage that it’s never too late to start exercising and reap the benefits of better health. Is that a myth or a fact? Two recently published investigational studies evaluated more than 315,000 Americans and 15,000 Britons. The studies confirmed the conclusion of past research: Adopting an exercise routine at any age improves your overall health and well-being.

In the American study, researchers were surprised by one of their findings. Participants who increased their physical activity in their 40s, 50s and into their early 60s enjoyed health benefits and a reduced risk of an early death as much as those who had maintained an exercise regimen throughout adulthood.

The British study found similar benefits for people into their late 70s. The researchers also concluded that substantial longevity benefits were gained by becoming more physically active regardless of past inactivity or health conditions, such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol or obesity.

Ready to get started exercising? The Cleveland Clinic recommends these steps:

See your doctor.

Get a physical exam to assess your current fitness level. Make sure you’re healthy enough to start picking up the pace.

Track your progress.

Use a pedometer or activity tracker to count your steps. Time your workouts with a stopwatch. Keep a journal to show how far you’ve come as you progress.

Start slow.

Begin all workouts with a warm-up and stretching.

Find the right fit.

Figure out what activities you enjoy. Create a balanced routine to include aerobics, strength training and balance exercises.


Evaluate whether your workouts are too little or too much. Take note of your fatigue level and your ability to lift and to walk distances.

Hydrate and eat a balanced diet.

Drink plenty of water every day. Plan meals and snacks that are high in fiber and well-balanced with “good” calories to fuel your body.


Puget Sound Women’s Show

Puget Sound Women’s Show Goes Red

Saturday, February 8th, 11am-4pm

Tacoma Mall’s Macy’s Court

Tacoma Mall and ShowCase Magazine and the American Heart Association co-host the Puget Sound Women’s Show. This heart felt event focuses on having fun and loving yourself!

Imagine the bliss evoked while having a free chair massage and hand aroma therapy…ohhhh la la! Discovering cutting edge health knowledge, great wellness and beauty advice and new fashion ideas. The American Heart Association will share a story of heart felt challenge and change.

The first two hundred and fifty ladies to register receive a FREE gift bag and are entered to win an overnight stay and dinner at the award-winning Alderbrook Resort and Spa. The resort was selected as the best resort by Evening Magazine in 2009 and was awarded four crowns by Northstar Media Travel.

Presented by:


Managing Cholesterol is Important at Every Age

New guidelines recently released by the American Heart Association stress the importance of taking a lifetime approach to managing cholesterol levels as a way to minimize the risk of life-threatening cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke. The new guidelines offer a more personalized approach to assessing individual risk and developing a treatment plan, according to Dr. Marina Jansen, a cardiologist and an AHA Go Red for Women ambassador.

Atherosclerosis—the buildup of fat and cholesterol-filled plaques inside the arteries—begins in young adulthood, Jansen explains. Smoking, high blood pressure and high blood sugar are well-established risk factors used for calculating a person’s 10-year risk for developing heart disease. But it is now recommended, Jansen continues, that physicians also consider “risk-enhancing factors.” These include family history and other health conditions, such as inflammatory diseases, chronic kidney disease and a history of complicated pregnancies.

“Lifestyle changes of diet modifications, weight control and exercise are always step one in treating elevated cholesterol,” says Jansen. For patients at higher risk, a cholesterol-reducing drug called a statin can be prescribed. Statins can reduce cholesterol up to 50 percent by blocking an enzyme in the liver. Global and U.S. studies have suggested the optimal level of LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol that contributes to atherosclerosis, should be less than 100 mg/dL for otherwise healthy people.

Cholesterol management is part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Other factors include not smoking, getting plenty of exercise, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, and controlling blood pressure and blood sugar.

Adults should discuss their risk of heart disease with their physician to determine the most appropriate treatment options. The new guidelines also recommend screening for children, particularly if there is a family history of heart attack or stroke. Your child’s pediatrician can determine the best age to begin screening, which involves a simple blood test.


For Additional Information
American Heart Association
1142 Broadway, Tacoma

Do You Have High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is called the “silent killer” because there are often no obvious symptoms. It accounts for more heart disease and stroke deaths than almost all other preventable causes – coming in second only to smoking. And the incidence of hypertension is now even higher, according to the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. Their new guidelines defining blood pressure levels indicate that nearly half of all adults in the U.S. are now considered to have high blood pressure.

Paula Battle, of Tacoma, learned how quickly life can be turned upside-down when high blood pressure goes unmanaged. In 2009 she started her day feeling ill, but as many people do, carried on and went to work. During a meeting, she felt a sudden sharp pain in her head. Her vision started to blur. She knew something was very wrong. Colleagues immediately escorted her to the on-site employee health clinic. By that point, her blood pressure was at a life-threatening level and paramedics were called.

“The ambulance ride to the hospital completely changed my life,” Battle said. “I promised myself that if I was able to put my feet on the ground again that I would be different. I needed to change my life for myself, but also for my husband and children.”

Battle adopted simple advice from her physician: walk 30 minutes a day and eat more fruits and vegetables. She loved the way walking made her feel, so her commitment eventually increased to five to six miles per day. “Walking and eating better has given me an entirely new outlook. My blood pressure is in a healthy range, I’m more energized and am able to do the things I love with my family.”

The new guideline recommends that people with readings at or higher than 130 as the top number or 80 as the bottom number should consult with their physician about ways to reduce their blood pressure. Commonly, lifestyle modifications such as adopting a heart-healthy diet, losing weight, quitting cigarettes, cutting back on alcohol and increasing physical activity can make a significant impact. Medication may also be prescribed.


For more information about the American Heart Association or heart disease: