Red Cap” Ambassador Prepares for Long Island Heart Walk

The American Heart Association is proud to have Brian McKee serving as the 2014 Long Island Heart Walk “Red Cap” Ambassador.  This year’s Long Island Heart Walk will be taking place on Sunday, September 21 at Jones Beach.

Brian McKee is a former New York City police officer, a husband, a father of three young children and a survivor of a cardiac arrest.  On March 5, 2013, Brian was working out with his partner in the NYC Police Academy training for a Spartan race at Citi Field.  Part of their workout involved climbing the stairs.   When they reached the basement of the academy, Brian grabbed his knees, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.  His partner immediately started CPR and called for help.

Luckily for him, there was a police officer in the building trained to use an AED which was located in the hallway of the building.  After shocking him 4 times, Brian’s heart beat returned.   Brian considers himself very lucky to have survived and credits that survival to the fact that his partner was trained in CPR and that there was an AED easily available.  The AED that saved his life was only installed 4 year prior, a fact that Brian thinks about constantly.  Brian is proud to serve as the 2014 Long Island Heart Walk Red Cap Ambassador and hopes to help raise awareness and support for CPR training and increased availability of AED’s.  

A “Red Cap” is a red baseball cap featuring the American Heart Association logo.  “Red Caps” refer to survivors of heart attack, cardiac arrest or heart surgery who wear the red caps as a symbol of their survival while walking in the Heart Walk.  “White Caps” will be distributed to stroke survivors the day of the walk.  Pediatric cardiovascular disease survivors will receive red super hero capes to acknowledge their courage.  Hundreds of survivors from across Long Island participate to show that heart disease and stroke can be beaten.

The American Heart Association estimates there are more than 71 million Americans alive with one or more types of cardiovascular disease.

As Red Cap Ambassador for the Long Island Heart Walk, Brian will help create awareness about the importance of survivors participating in the event and to create awareness that heart disease and stroke aren’t “just an older man’s diseases.”

On Sunday, September 21, 2014, join our “Red Cap” Ambassador and thousands of other survivors, families and friends from all over Long Island at the Long Island Heart Walk at Jones Beach, Field 5.

The annual success of the Long Island Heart Walk is due in part to national sponsor, Subway. Local sponsors include TD Bank, Astoria Bank, Vita Coco, Cohn Reznick, EVO Payments Intl., Winthrop University Hospital, Luxottica and Catholic Health Services. Local media sponsors are News 12 Long Island, WBAB 102.3-FM and WBLI 106.1-FM.brian mckee photo

For more information about the Long Island Heart Walk taking place on Sunday, September 21 call the American Heart Association at 516-450-9104 or visit us at www.longislandheartwalk.org

Healthy Eating Tips for College Students

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association encourage college students to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Heading back to school and dreading the all-you-can-eat cafeteria? First year and fearing the “Freshman 15”?  Staying healthy in college is more than just fitting into your skinny jeans—it can seriously help you later on in life.

Why care now, you ask?  The American Heart Association says ‘Life is Why.’ Here’s a lesson you don’t want to forget: nearly 68 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, and obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers.

Check out this ‘study guide’ to help your health exam.

Did you check in?  After you’ve successfully updated your status on your social networks, pop over to this online tool to check your calories.  Managing weight is a simple equation of burning as many calories as you take in.  Use the app, manage your weight and continue to update your status.  www.heart.org/MyFatsTranslator.

  1. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but eat your fruits and veggies.  Mom and Dad were on to something when they taught you to eat an apple a day.  The American Heart Association recommends filling half your plate with fruits and/or vegetables at every meal.  Fruits and vegetables are low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods that keep you satisfied and may help you maintain weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.      
  2. Stay hydrated my friends.  Water is the best way to stay hydrated.  Reach for water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and sports drinks, which add extra calories with little nutritional value.  Plain water too boring?  Try sparkling water or add fruit wedges to jazz it up.
  3. Put down the double bacon cheeseburger.  It sounds like a delicious option after that all-nighter you pulled, but your heart won’t be happy with you.  Instead, reach for a grilled turkey burger piled high with veggies like avocado, tomato, onions and lettuce. In other words, choose lean cuts of meat and poultry without skin and extra fat removed.  Opt for grilled, baked, broiled, poached or roasted (we promise, it’ll still taste delish!)
  4. Something sounds fishy!  We’re talking about that deep-fried, breaded basket that you took in the cafeteria line.  Instead, try baked, broiled or grilled fish (especially the oil kind, like salmon or trout) twice a week.  
  5. Slow down there, slugger.  Let’s just say, drink in moderation.  Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories and can have other negative effects on your health.  The American Heart Association recommends no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.  Tiny umbrella optional.
  6. Stuff your face!  With healthy snacks, that is!  In between classes and studying, it’s sometimes hard to find healthy options.  So when you need a bite, stuff your face with fresh fruits and veggies, unsalted nuts and seeds, and low-fat whole-grain crackers.
  7. Strike a (yoga) pose.  Put down the cupcake and fight your stress without food.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try yoga, take a walk, go to the gym or call friends or family.  Remember, you’re allowed to take breaks from studying in order to recharge.
  8. We like to move it, move it.  Cue the dance music, lace up those running shoes or grab a Frisbee.  No matter how you like to move it (move it!), maintaining weight is about burning the same amount of calories as you consume.  Developing a regular exercise routine (at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) is the best way to burn additional calories and manage stress.
  9. Take your phone out.  No, not to tweet.  To check your portions.  One of the easiest pitfalls for college students is all-you-can- eat cafeterias.  Portion control can help you keep track of the foods you are consuming without going overboard.  For instance, a serving of chicken breast (3 ounces) is about the size of a smart phone and a medium banana is about the size of a pencil.  For more portion comparisons, check out www.heart.org/PortionDistortion.

Looking for more tips on maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle?  Visit www.heart.org/GettingHealthy.

 

Delicious ways to cook fresh ingredients offered in new American Heart Association cookbook

Go Fresh includes 250 recipes to help freshen up your family’s meals

Whether your kitchen is stocked with fresh produce from your local farmers market, the grocery store or your own garden this summer, the American Heart Association’s newest cookbook, Go Fresh, can provide you with healthy, easy recipes to use seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Go Fresh features 250 recipes, most of which take less than 20 minutes to put together and less than 30 minutes to cook.

Research shows that the more you cook at home, the easier it is to achieve or maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle.

According to the American Heart Association, a healthy diet and lifestyle is one of the best tools for fighting cardiovascular disease. Made with fresh ingredients can give the way you eat a whole new taste. This cookbook will show that eating nutritiously can be absolutely delicious and flavorful and that using fresh ingredients doesn’t take a lot of time.

The cookbook includes colorful, full-page photographs, nutritional information for all recipes, and helpful shopping and cooking tips. Recipes include Blueberry-Walnut Chicken Salad, Blackened Fish with Crisp Kale and Creamy Lemon Sauce, and Tomato-Basil Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.

Go Fresh is dedicated to Kelly Chapman Meyer, co-founder of the American Heart Association’s Teaching Gardens and national champion of getting people to eat more fruits and vegetables. American Heart Association Teaching Gardens teach students to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest crops and ultimately better understand the value of good eating habits, challenging kids to make small changes to improve their health.

Go Fresh is available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and wherever books are sold.

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Ed Blaskey Named Chairman of 2014 Long Island Heart Walk

Ed Blaskey, TD Bank’s Market President for Suburban NY and Long Island has been named Chairman of the American Heart Association’s 2014 Long Island Heart Walk.  This year’s walk will be taking place on Sunday, September 21 at Jones Beach in Wantagh.  

In this capacity, Mr. Blaskey is responsible for commercial lending activities and commercial deposit growth on Long Island, Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley.

He has 33 years of banking experience and joined TD Bank in 2001 as Regional Vice President to help launch the Long Island Market for the Bank.  He was instrumental in expanding TD Bank Long Island’s retail franchise and commercial lending business lines.  Mr. Blaskey contributed to establishing the brand, model and culture of what has become America’s Most Convenient Bank.

“I am honored to serve as the 2014 Long Island Heart Walk Chairman” said Blaskey.  “I look forward to working with Executive Leaders across Long Island to help raise awareness and funds for the American Heart Association to continue its mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke”.

The Long Island Heart Walk supports a ground-breaking national American Heart Association movement to get America walking to live longer, heart-healthy lives.

For more information about the Long Island Heart Walk taking place on Sunday, September 21 call the American Heart Association at 516-450-9104 or visit us at http://www.longislandheartwalk.org.

Local sponsors include TD Bank, Astoria Bank, Vita Coco, Cohn Reznick, EVO Payments Intl., Winthrop University Hospital, Luxottica and Catholic Health Services. Local media sponsors are News 12 Long Island, WBAB 102.3-FM and WBLI 106.1-FM.

Ed Blaskey lives in Merrick with his wife Lisa. He has three children: Christopher, Mathew and Kimberly.

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Put Your Heart First – Join the American Heart Association’s Long Island Heart Walk to Save Lives

Heart Walk participants take healthy steps to stomp out heart disease and stroke

 More than four thousand Long Islanders are expected to join the American Heart Association’s Long Island Heart Walk on Sunday, September 21 to raise funds to fight heart disease and stroke, America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers,. The annual event begins at 8:30 a.m. at Jones Beach, Field 5 in Wantagh, NY.

The non-competitive, three-mile walk includes teams of employees from local companies, along with friends and family members of all ages.

“For every hour of brisk walking, life expectancy may increase for some adults by two hours,” said Ed Blaskey, TD Bank’s Market President for Suburban NY and Long Island and Chairman of the 2014 Long Island Heart Walk.  “I look forward to working with Executive Leaders across Long Island to help raise awareness and funds for the American Heart Association to continue its mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.”

Heart Walk participants will experience three “communities” that feature relevant resources and activities.

This year’s Long Island Heart Walk will once again feature interactive and compelling life-changing information and activities including a Kidz Zone-featuring face painting, caricatures, magician, craft, and games for kids and families, Eat Street-featuring heart healthy snacks before and after you walk, Team Photos-Grab everyone you’re walking with for a group picture! Mended Hearts, Red Caps & White Caps-All Heart Disease Survivors Receive a Red Cap! Stroke Survivors receive a White Cap!

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This year we are honored to have Brian McKee, Hicksville resident and survivor serve as our 2014 Red Cap Ambassador.  Jack Michael Foley, Franklin Square resident, born with a congenital heart defect is proud to serve as the 2014 Long Island Heart Walk Red Cape Ambassador, hoping to raise awareness for congenital heart defects and provide hope for other families.    

Research has shownwalking is the single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health.The benefits of walking and moderate physical activity for as little as 30 minutes each day can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

The annual success of the Long Island Heart Walk is due in part to our national sponsor, Subway. Local sponsors include TD Bank, Astoria Bank, Vita Coco, Cohn Reznick, EVO Payments Intl., Winthrop University Hospital, Luxottica and Catholic Health Services. Local media sponsors are News 12 Long Island, WBAB 102.3-FM and WBLI 106.1-FM.

For more information about the Long Island Heart Walk taking place on Sunday, September 21st call the American Heart Association at 516-450-9104 or visit us at http://www.longislandheartwalk.org.

 

New awareness campaign encourages people pledge to reduce sodium

American Heart Association survey shows Americans are unaware of how much sodium they eat

Americans eat too much salt, and most have no idea how much they are eating, according to new consumer research by the American Heart Association.

Nearly all of the 1,000 people surveyed by the American Heart Association (97 percent) either underestimated or could not estimate how much sodium they eat every day. Too much sodium in the diet can increase risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and other major health problems.

Most people who underestimated their sodium consumption in the survey were off by around 1,000 milligrams. That’s a significant amount, considering the American Heart Association recommends 1,500 milligrams a day for ideal heart health. Most Americans consume more than double that.

In an effort to help people better understand and limit their sodium intake, the American Heart Association has launched a new awareness campaign called “I Love You Salt, But You’re Breaking My Heart.” The campaign includes a new website, heart.org/sodium, with an online pledge for people to commit to reduce how much sodium they eat, along with a new video, “Don’t Let Salt Sneak Up on You” (http://bit.ly/1trMjLv), to show how sodium is sneaking into our foods. The site also features a blog, sodium quiz and infographics, links to lower-sodium recipes, and educational articles.

Limiting salt in the bigger picture—the U.S. food supply—is an important goal of the campaign. That’s because 75 percent of Americans’ sodium consumption is from processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods—not the salt shaker.

“It’s challenging for Americans to stick to sodium intake recommendations because most of the sodium we eat in this country is added to our food before we buy it,” said Dr. Jean Cacciabaudo, member of the American Heart Association’s Long Island Board of Directors and Chief of Cardiology at Southside Hospital. . “In order to really make a difference in the health of all Americans, we must reduce sodium in the food supply through the support of food manufacturers, food processors and the restaurant industry.”

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Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, and high blood pressure is a major risk factor. One-third of American adults have high blood pressure, and about 90 percent of American adults are expected to develop high blood pressure over their lifetimes. Children, too, are at risk of developing heart disease and elevated blood pressure at an earlier age. Nearly 80 percent of 1- to 3-year-olds and more than 90 percent of 4- to 18-year-olds eat too much sodium.

“America’s health could take a turn for the better if more Americans focused on their sodium intake,” Dr. Cacciabaudo said. “The American Heart Association encourages people to reduce their sodium intake by comparing product labels and selecting the option with less sodium, limiting the consumption of processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods, and by substituting salt with herbs, spices, citrus juice, or vinegars to season food.”

Reducing current sodium intake by 1,200 milligrams a day has been estimated to prevent between 44,000 and 92,000 deaths per year and save between $10 billion and $24 billion annually in healthcare costs.

To learn more about sodium and to take the pledge to reduce how much you eat, visit heart.org/sodium.

Are you a Heart or Stroke Survivor?

Have you or someone you know suffered from heart disease or stroke?

The Long Island American Heart Association is looking for survivors to form Heart Walk teams and join us at the American Heart Association’s Long Island Heart Walk on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at Jones Beach.

The Heart Walk takes a critical step toward raising vital funds for research, education, and awareness of heart disease and stroke. Last year over 4,000 walkers and volunteers participated in the Heart Walk on Long Island and this year we would like you to join us.

Form a team and walk to celebrate your survival, dedicate your walk to a survivor you know, or dedicate your walk to a loved one’s memory.

We also offer opportunity’s to volunteer and get involved in our survivors network.

For information on how to form a team or get involved as a volunteer contact Ann Morrison at 516-450-9104 or visit http://www.longislandheartwalk.org