American Heart Association: Tips for Becoming Heart Healthy

TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 3, 2010) -- This Saturday, hundreds of USF employees and students will participate in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk to raise money and awareness to fight heart disease. As the University’s campaign draws to a close, here’s a recap on the first six steps of the American Heart Association’s Simple 7 steps to improving heart health:

Get Active

Control Cholesterol

Eat Better

Manage Blood Pressure

Lose Weight

Reduce Blood Sugar

As the seventh heart healthy step in the Simple 7 program, the American Heart Association urges people to quit smoking to improve heart health. Typically people associate lung cancer or respiratory disease on smoking, but some may not realize how much damage smoking can have on the heart.

The American Heart Association says that, in addition to having a higher risk of developing chronic diseases, such as atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart disease, heart attack and stroke, smoking decreases your tolerance for physical activity and increases the tendency for blood clots, among other concerns.

Even if you’ve tried unsuccessfully to quit smoking before, please try again. Every smoke-free day can move you closer to a longer, healthier life.

Smoking Cessation Resources

Here are a few ways to get started on your path to stop smoking:

Talk to your health provider to establish a plan that works for you.

Visit your health insurance provider’s website to see what discounted programs or products they offer.

Visit the American Heart Association’s Simple 7 page here for resources on how to quit smoking.

Call the USF Employee Assistance Program at (813) 974-5469 for a listing of community resources to help you quit.

The American Heart Association's Heart Walk takes place on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Raymond James Stadium. It’s not too late to support one of USF’s walkers! Please click here to join or sponsor a USF team. For more information, email Carol Sands.