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  • Parkersburg man pleads guilty to Kroger robbery in Beckley

    Parkersburg man pleads guilty to Kroger robbery in Beckley

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:46 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:46:21 GMT
    A man who robbed the Kroger on Harper Road in Beckley, WV bank in March, went before a judge on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Jonathan James Rager pleaded guilty to Second Degree Robbery in front of Judge John Hutchison.
    A man who robbed the Kroger on Harper Road in Beckley, WV bank in March, went before a judge on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Jonathan James Rager pleaded guilty to Second Degree Robbery in front of Judge John Hutchison.
  • Beckley Police investigate shots fired on 8th Street

    Beckley Police investigate shots fired on 8th Street

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:11 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:11:03 GMT
    A person opened fire at a home in Beckley during the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Detectives are investigating a case of shots fired along 8th Street, which is just off of Johnstown Road. The incident happened at around 2 a.m.
    A person opened fire at a home in Beckley during the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Detectives are investigating a case of shots fired along 8th Street, which is just off of Johnstown Road. The incident happened at around 2 a.m.
  • Deveron Patterson pleads guilty to 1st Degree Murder

    Deveron Patterson pleads guilty to 1st Degree Murder

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:45 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:45:11 GMT
    A case that began almost a year ago lead to a guilty plea in Kanawha County court on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Deveron Patterson, 26, of Raleigh County pleaded guilty to a First Degree Murder charge in connection with the death of Kareem Hunter in Sept. 2013.
    A case that began almost a year ago lead to a guilty plea in Kanawha County court on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Deveron Patterson, 26, of Raleigh County pleaded guilty to a First Degree Murder charge in connection with the death of Kareem Hunter in Sept. 2013.
  • ColumnsMore>>

  • Ex-Im's choices of winners, losers hurts overall business

    Ex-Im's choices of winners, losers hurts overall business

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-08-29 10:00:19 GMT
    In recent years, the Export-Import Bank of the United States has drawn heavy criticism. Officials from the bank have gone on a nationwide barnstorming campaign to build support as many congressional Republicans consider shutting the public credit giant down via defunding it.
    In recent years, the Export-Import Bank of the United States has drawn heavy criticism. Officials from the bank have gone on a nationwide barnstorming campaign to build support as many congressional Republicans consider shutting the public credit giant down via defunding it.
  • Advances in technology can be both hazardous, helpful to your health

    Advances in technology can be both hazardous, helpful to your health

    Thursday, August 28 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-08-28 10:00:20 GMT
    “Sometimes I think I spend 80 percent of my time undoing what other people tell my patients,” Dr. Bob groaned after I recently asked him if I should increase my daily intake of a certain medicine now in my daily regime.
    “Sometimes I think I spend 80 percent of my time undoing what other people tell my patients,” Dr. Bob groaned after I recently asked him if I should increase my daily intake of a certain medicine now in my daily regime.
  • Understanding the quiet man behind the manic genius

    Understanding the quiet man behind the manic genius

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-08-26 10:00:18 GMT
    I met Robin Williams 32 years ago at a bar in Italy. He must have been about 31 and had lived almost half of his life, although we didn't know it at the time.I was sitting at the bar with my ex-husband.
    I met Robin Williams 32 years ago at a bar in Italy. He must have been about 31 and had lived almost half of his life, although we didn't know it at the time.I was sitting at the bar with my ex-husband.

Cindy Boggs is an American Council on Exercise-certified fitness professional, corporate wellness presenter and author of the award winning book, "CindySays … You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World." Send inquiries/comments to cindysays@aol.com.

True or false? Most of your risk factors for heart disease and stroke — specifically high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and obesity — are preventable and controllable. The answer is YES! 

February is heart month and it's the perfect time to evaluate our risk for heart disease and/or stroke. Heart disease kills approximately 630,000 Americans each year and is the leading cause of death for both men and women. 

Million hearts mission

Launched in September 2011, the Million Hearts initiative aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. By aligning existing efforts and creating new programs, it hopes to show that improving the health system can save lives by enhancing cardiovascular disease prevention tactics across the public and private sectors.

 

Heart disease and stroke  

In an attempt to make an impact on heart disease and stroke prevention, several strategies are being targeted. This effort is led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Those strategies include:

  • Providing better access to effective care,
  • Improving the quality of care,
  • Concentrating on clinical attention to heart attack and stroke prevention,
  • Raising public awareness of heart-healthy lifestyles, and
  • Promoting the message that consistent use of high blood pressure and cholesterol medications reduces risk 

Easy steps for excellent results

  • Clean up the diet: Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables — five servings each day for adults. Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans-fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber. Limit salt.
  • Maintain or work toward a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease. Check to see if your weight is in a healthy range by calculating your body mass index—BMI—at heart.org. 
  • Exercise regularly: Physical activity plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy weight and will help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines, adults should engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week or two hours and 30 minutes —150 minutes total — of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. They should also do two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities working all major muscle groups. 

  • Monitor your blood pressure: High blood pressure, the silent killer, won't give you a heads up before it strikes so have it checked on a regular basis and treat if necessary. 
  • Don't smoke: Cigarette smoking will get you one way or the other. It increases your risk for heart disease tremendously. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. Seek help to quit. 
  • Limit alcohol use: Too much alcohol will increase your blood pressure and make it difficult to control your weight
  • Check your cholesterol: Test your cholesterol levels at least once every 5 years. It's a simple blood test that can save your life. 
  • Manage diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar levels closely, and understand your treatment options. 

We control our own destiny

We are lucky because we are armed with the knowledge to prevent and lower our risk of heart disease. This is an important month and an important message to follow. Know your numbers and make it a priority to align yourself with health. 

Heart disease rarely uses surprise tactics to kill us. Even when we have no warnings, we have the ability to acquire all information needed to make a dramatic difference in our chance to beat heart disease. Use it for life.