My name is Laura Cleland, and I am a certified health education specialist at the Meigs County Health Department.
I am the director for Creating Healthy Communities and Together on Diabetes grant programs that work to target behaviors that lead to chronic diseases.
In honor of Heart Health Month, Carleton Schools/Meigs Industries hosted a “Wear Red Day” on Friday, Feb. 5. The purpose of the day was to promote heart health and discuss how cardiovascular disease could be prevented. In the afternoon, students filled the gym for a special assembly.
Students learned a simple test to check their heart health that can be performed daily: a pulse reading. According to the Mayo Clinic, a normal resting heart rate for adults’ ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute. Checking your pulse is one way a person can monitor their heart without any equipment needed.
After checking their heart rate, the students talked about what activities they like to do to increase their heart rate. Students reported things like dancing and taking a walk as fun exercises they do regularly. I demonstrated how physical activity could be done in a seat by stretching or gentle yoga movements, and students followed along.
Lastly, to teach about healthy eating and heart health, I showed how to make a healthy smoothie using Greek yogurt, almond milk and strawberries. The recipe called for one cup of Greek yogurt, one cup of almond milk and added fruit for flavor. Put the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
The MCHD’s Creating Healthy Communities Coalition is combating chronic diseases through targeting three controllable behaviors: healthy eating, active living and tobacco use. Goals of the coalition include: decreasing tobacco use, increasing access to recreational opportunities, and increasing access to healthy food options for Meigs County residents of all ages.
For specific information regarding your own heart health consult with your physician or family doctor.