SJH Sponsors Annual Poker Heart Walk To Celebrate Heart Health Month In February

Local residents both young and older can participate in 2015 Poker Heart Walk activities at the Korte Rec Center Friday, February 6.

On Friday, February 6th from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at Korte Rec Center in Highland, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital (SJH) in Highland will sponsor its annual Poker Heart Walk. The event is FREE and open to the public.

This year’s event will include a dedicated area with specific activities for children. An inflatable obstacle course and fitness challenge activities will be available.

Event participants can take advantage of free blood pressure and other health screenings. Korte Rec Center staff will be on hand to provide sample exercise classes that are available to improve your heart health.

A guest panel discussion on heart health will include board-certified cardiologist Dr. Pavan Gupta, a cardiologist with Prairie Cardiovascular and a member of the medical staff at SJH. Dr. Gupta will talk about heart health. He received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh (PA) and completed his residency program through the University of Michigan, where he subsequently served as a clinical instructor. Dr. Gupta completed fellowship training in cardiovascular disease at Brown University. His scope of services includes:

• Cardiology consultations

• Stress testing

• Echocardiograms

• Holter monitors

• Event monitors

Sample exercise classes will be offered for attendees to learn more about heart health.

For more information regarding the Poker Heart Walk, call 651-2755
Since 1963, the month of February has been named “American Heart Month” to raise awareness and provide education on cardiovascular diseases.

SJH will be displaying the lighted red heart on its building throughout February as an outward symbol to remind the public to be heart smart and learn their risks for heart disease. These include:

• High blood pressure. More than half the people who have hypertension aren’t controlling it, and its causes are unknown in more than 90 percent of all patients.

• High cholesterol. The body packages cholesterol in different forms. The higher LDL numbers, the” bad” cholesterol, the greater your risk of cardiovascular disease.

• Smoking. On its own, smoking can lead to heart disease. It can also worsen high blood pressure, increase the chance for blood clots and stroke, and make it difficult to exercise properly.

• Lack of exercise. Physical inactivity puts you at great risk for cardiovascular disease; the American Heart Association ranks it on a par with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking as a contributor to heart disease.

• Being overweight. Just carrying excess body fat can lead to cardiovascular diseases while raising blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

• Poor diet. A diet high in saturated and trans fats contributes to high cholesterol; too much salt and not enough potassium can contribute to high blood pressure. Drinking too much alcohol increases your risk of most cardiovascular diseases.

• Stress. This can be a contributing risk factor, especially if it leads you to overeat, drink more alcohol, or smoke.