Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Healthy Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List!

Need some help checking everyone off your holiday shopping list? We’ve got a some great ideas to keep you and the people you love healthy this holiday season and in the New Year!

Massage – Who doesn’t love a good massage? Man or woman, we can all benefit from a decreased risk of heart disease by reducing our stress levels.

Gym bag – For the person in your life that is always at the gym, or for someone who needs new swag to motivate them to get to the gym.

Yoga – For the friend that could benefit from flexibility, surprise him or her with a yoga mat or a session at their local yoga studio.

Exercise tracker – From the FitBit to the Up Move, tech gadgets make working out more fun than ever. Increasing steps and decreasing calorie intake will lead to a leaner, healthier friend or family member.

Blender – Your mom or wife will love you for getting her a fancy new blender! The best part? She’ll be able to whip up some amazing smoothies for breakfast to help curb her appetite throughout the day.

Bike – Know someone who might enjoy biking to work or school? A bike is a great way to get the people you love moving.

Sneakers – Everyone could benefit from a new pair of running or hiking shoes. Plan a fun trek to the top of Stone Mountain or a jog around Piedmont Park.

Sports bra – You may not believe the difference a proper fitting sports bra will make! With the appropriate amount of support, your friend or sister could work out longer and harder.

Knife set – Guys like sharp objects, and getting a new knife set is as equally exciting as getting a new tool set, expect the knife set can help him create those delicious sweet potato chips you love to snack on!

Emory Women’s Heart Center Screening – Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women? Show the women in your life just how much you care about them by scheduling a screening at the Emory Women’s Heart Center. She’ll get two hours of undivided attention to help her understand her risk of heart disease.

To learn more about the Emory Women’s Heart Center
or to make an appointment, call 404-778-7777.

Happy holidays from Emory Healthcare!

Did you know that you can exercise at work even if you have a desk job?

Exercise at WorkThe Emory Center for Heart Disease Prevention staff are practicing what they preach and are doing their best to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. They recently acquired 2 bike pedal systems that fit under the desk so staff can exercise while working. These unique devices are small and easy to use and can be used for short periods of time to get your heart pumping. After using the bike pedals, Emory registered nurse Charlotte Applequist, RN commented, “I was surprised that I burned a total of 142 calories pedaling on and off through out the day! A lot of days I don’t get to workout at home, so this was great! My mood is better at work as well; my stress level was reduced.”

Emory Senior Medical Secretary Patty Watson also commented, “I sit a lot at work and my commute is two hours round trip to Emory. Already, I can feel the benefit of stronger legs and mentally I feel more invigorated.”

Exercise is one part of the equation in the fight against heart disease but Emory Women’s Heart Center Nurse Practitioner Chris Nell-Dybdahl also recommends that in order to improve cardiovascular health you must eat a heart healthy Mediterranean – style diet, reduce stress and follow a prevention plan.

Heart Disease Screening

To find out if you are at risk for heart disease, schedule your heart screening today by calling 404-778-7777 or visit

If you work on or near the Emory campus, drop by the Emory Heart Disease Prevention Center at The Emory Clinic, Second Floor Cardiology and see what the fuss is all about as well as inquire about purchasing these for your office!

About Christine Nell-Dybdahl, NP-C, MPH, MSN

Christine Nell – Dybdahl, NP – C, MPH, MSN has been a registered nurse since 1994 and a nurse practitioner since 1998. She brings to the practice over 20 years of cardiology experience. She is the clinical nurse director for Emory’s Center for Heart Disease Prevention and is active with the Emory’s Women’s Heart Program. She received her BSN from Kent State University and her dual master degrees from Emory University in nursing (board certified family nurse practitioner) and public health (health education and promotion). Her interests include cardiovascular disease prevention, heart healthy life style changes, cholesterol abnormalities, women’s heart care, and family-involved chronic heart disease management. Chris is a member of the American College of Cardiology, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She makes it a priority to connect interested patients and researchers at Emory. She is the founder and clinical leader of the Women Living with Angina Support Group. She has co-authored several journal articles and has spoken at many conferences on a wide variety of topics

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center

Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

About the Emory Heart Disease Prevention Center

Emory Heart Disease Prevention specialists provide a collaborative and comprehensive approach to the prevention, detection and reversal of heart disease. We offer a full range of prevention and wellness programs that will help you stay healthy. You can count on our commitment to guiding you to a healthier way of life for yourself and those you love.

Start Walking for Your Heart Health, One Step at a Time!

Today is National Start Walking Day so get up and get moving! Your heart will thank you! Statistics say that 1 out of every 2 men and 1 out of every 3 women are at risk for heart disease. Research says that poor lifestyle choices are the major contributor to the disease.

Walkers at the Atlanta Heart Walk

Walkers during the 2010 Atlanta Heart Walk.

Research by the American Heart Association proves the benefits of walking (or moderate physical activity) for at least 30 minutes a day can help:

  • Improve mental well being
  •  Lower blood pressure
  • Improve blood sugar levels
  • Maintain or improve body weight
  • Lower risks of colon and breast cancer
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Reduce risk of coronary heart disease

Living in Walk-Friendly Neighborhoods Leads to Heart Healthy Lives

Do you live in an Intown, walkable neighborhood? If so, you may be extending your life!

Dr. Susmita Parashar comments on a new study that indicates there is evidence that people who live in a neighborhood that is very walker friendly live a heart healthier life.   Neighborhoods that have parks, restaurants and grocery stores within walking distance from the homes encourages people to get out and enjoy the outdoor and therefore this benefits the heart.  Check out the CNN Health Minute on Healthy Neighborhoods.

About Susmita Parashar, MD, MS
Dr. Parashar is a cardiologist at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center. She specializes in preventive cardiology and has special interests in women’s heart disease. She is the newest member of the Emory team and looks forward to helping patients in Atlanta prevent heart disease. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, and Cardiology fellowship at Emory University. Prior to joining Emory faculty in the Division of Cardiology, Dr. Parashar was Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine at Emory for eight years.

Let’s Keep the Heart Disease Prevention Momentum Going!

Thanks to those who joined me Wednesday for our live chat on Women and Heart Disease. We discussed a lot of different topics related to women and heart disease and had some great questions! If you were unable to join us, check out the transcript of the chat!

If you are a woman with heart disease and want to schedule an evaluation call 404-778-2746. The Emory Women’s Heart Program sees patients on Thursdays and Fridays at The Emory Clinic on Clifton Road. Emory Women’s Heart Program provides cardiac risk assessment, diagnosis and heart disease care through a women-focused approach to cardiovascular care. Our goal is to help women prevent heart disease and improve cardiovascular outcomes through the highest quality patient and family-centered care, research and education.

During the chat, we talked a bit about the upcoming 2011 Metro Atlanta Heart Walk. If you’re interested in participating, but don’t have a team, you can join ours! I will be there with my colleagues and we will have physicians and medical professionals available to answer questions at the Emory My Heart. My Life. Booth located near the main stage.

2011 Metro Atlanta Heart Walk Event Details

Atlanta Heart Walk

Date : Saturday, October 30th

Time : 9:00am (walk starts)

Distance : 5k (3.1 miles)

Location : Downtown Atlanta in the Turner Field Green Lot (755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315). Visit for directions.

Festivities, such as company picnics, special heart walk activities for children, health screenings and entertainment will begin around 8:00 a.m. The 5K/3.1-mile walk begins at 9:00 a.m.

Register to Join the Emory Atlanta Heart Walk Team:

To register as part of Emory’s walking team, follow these 4 steps:

  1. Visit
  2. To register as a participant, click Register and then click “I agree to the waiver.”
  3. Select Join a Team. Find Emory Healthcare in the drop-down box, and find the name of the team you want to join.
  4. Login to your personal Heart Walk page and personalize it by telling your story and adding a photo.

The funds raised from the Metro Atlanta Heart Walk go to support the American Heart Association’s critical research, education, and heart health advocacy initiatives. I look forward to seeing you all there!

Ijeoma Isiadinso, MDAbout Dr. Ijeoma Isiadinso
Dr. Isiadinso is a preventive cardiologist with the Emory Heart & Vascular Center. She specializes in heart disease prevention with special interests in lifestyle modification, cardiovascular risk factor screening, hyperlipidemia and women’s heart disease. She completed her medical education and training at MCP-Hahnemann School of Medicine and Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia before joining Emory in 2010. Dr. Isiadinso is Associate Director of the Emory Heart & Vascular Center’s Women’s Heart Program and she is committed to helping women and men live healthy lives.

Thanks for joining us for the live chat yesterday on Women and Heart Disease.  We discussed a lot of different topics related to women and heart disease and had some great questions!  If you were unable to join us visit the past chats link on the blog site to review the transcript of the chat!

If you are a woman with heart disease and want to schedule an evaluation call 404-778-2746.  The Emory women’s heart program sees patients on Thursdays and Fridays at The Emory Clinic on Clifton Road.  Emory Women’s Heart Program provides cardiac risk assessment, diagnosis and heart disease care through a women-focused approach to cardiovascular care.  Our goal is to help women prevent heart disease and improve cardiovascular outcomes through the highest quality patient and family-centered care, research and education.

Join our team at the American Heart Association Atlanta Heart Walk on Saturday, October 29, 2011 at Turner Field.  I will be there with my colleagues and we will have physicians and medical professionals available to answer questions at the Emory My Heart. My Life. Booth located near the main stage.

Keep Your Heart Healthy – Get Active!

Get Active Prevent Heart DiseaseDo you know that nearly 70% of Americans are not getting the physical activity they need to maintain a healthy heart? When you are inactive, you burn fewer calories, you are at higher risk for cholesterol problems, diabetes, and hypertension. Your weight is often harder to manage as well.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity five times a week for adults. Physical activity can dramatically lower your risk for health conditions such as coronary heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

Here are some other advantages to staying active:

  1. Better mood and less stress –  physical activity is a good way to alleviate stress. Consider taking a short walk either during your lunch break or after a long day.
  2. Positive influence – Remember we are role models for our children.  Activities such as walking or playing sports with our children are great ways to remain healthy and stay connected with our children.
  3. More social – It’s always more fun to workout or play sports with friends. You can also meet new people who are as active as you through these activities.
  4. Better blood pressure control – Becoming more active can reduce your blood pressure by as much as 4-9 mmHg.

What can you do to be more active? First, commit to putting your health first. You deserve to live a long and healthy life ! Once you’ve decided to start exercising, the next step will be to make the time.

Everyone has busy lives and there never seems to be enough time to complete everything we want to do. So start with small steps.  Begin incorporating physical activity into your daily schedule.  When you drive to the grocery store or the mall, park further from the entrance than you normally would. Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work.

Remember that if you have any medical conditions, you should consult with your physician about which  forms of exercise are  best for you.  It is also important to discuss any warning signs that you should pay attention to while exercising. For most individuals, an exercise plan can begin with  just walking. You can walk within your neighborhood or on a track at your local high school or college. Gradually increase your duration of exercise.  Be careful not to overwork yourself. Working out too much or too hard can be harmful.

If you don’t enjoy walking consider taking a tennis lesson, swimming at a local YMCA, yoga, or dancing.  Anything that gets you moving and increases your heart rate is a good activity! If you don’t have 30 uninterrupted minutes to exercise, then divide the time into several segments. Consider two 15 minute segments, or three 10-minute segments. The goal is to strive for 30 minutes a day. Remember not to be too hard on yourself. If you miss one day, simply get back on track the following day. The purpose is to make long-term lifestyle changes.

Now let’s start moving and keep our hearts healthy!

Emory Healthcare is a proud sponsor of American Heart Association’s “My Heart. My Life.” campaign that promotes My Life Check –Life’s Simple 7.  Getting active is one of the 7 steps to a healthier heart.

Learn more about The Emory Heart & Vascular Center’s Heart Disease Prevention Program.

About Dr. Ijeoma Isiadinso
Dr. Isiadinso is a preventive cardiologist with the Emory Heart & Vascular Center.  She specializes in heart disease prevention with special interests in lifestyle modification, cardiovascular risk factor screening, hyperlipidemia, and women’s heart disease.   She completed her medical education and training at MCP-Hahnemann School of Medicine and Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA before joining Emory in 2010.  Dr. Isiadinso is an active member in the development of the Emory Heart and Vascular Center’s Women’s Heart Health Program and is committed to helping women and men live healthy lives.

Running & Your Heart: Navigating the Peachtree Road Race and Other Adventures

Heart Running ChatHave you been training hard getting ready for the Peachtree Road Race? Is your heart in good health, too? One of the best things you can do for your heart health is to run.  Running is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that provides a wealth of healthy benefits for your overall well–being and heart health. If you are not sure about your heart health, it is important to consult with a physician who can recommend the best method for achieving heart health.

Join me on Wednesday, June 29 at 12:30 p.m. for an interactive online Q&A web chat where we’ll discuss how you can ensure your heart is healthy to handle the rigors of running. I will be there to answer questions in real-time and discuss various heart related running and exercise questions.

If you are interested in learning more about how to maintain a healthy heart for running/exercising, you can register for the live chat now.  Spread the word about our online heart healthy heart chat to your fellow runners, friends and neighbors.

About Dr. Sperling

Dr. Sperling is a cardiologist at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center and Director of Emory’s Center for Heart Disease Prevention. He is also an accomplished runner having completed seven marathons (including New York City and Athens, Greece), and 17 consecutive Peachtree Races. Dr. Sperling’s areas of clinical interest are preventive cardiology, cardiovascular risk assessment, lifestyle and behavioral approaches to heart disease and management of cholesterol disorders.

About Emory Heart & Vascular

Emory Heart & Vascular Center has been consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top heart health centers in the nation. Your cardiovascular health is our primary concern; let us show you the Emory difference.

Running is Great for Your Heart; Make Sure Your Workout Snacks are Too

It is no surprise that regular aerobic activity promotes heart health, and running, which is a form of high intensity cardiovascular exercise, is by far one of the most effective forms.

Heart Healthy Benefits of Running

♥ Manage or prevent high blood pressure

♥ Keep arteries clear of plaque by boosting good cholesterol and lowering triglycerides (fats in blood)

♥ Lower risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), heart attack and stroke.

Running can also help prevent or manage other chronic conditions that greatly impact heart health such as diabetes, overweight and obesity, as it burns more calories than most other forms of aerobics.

Below are snack ideas to compliment your running regiment. The key is to stay fueled during running and promote recovery afterwards, all while promoting heart health!

Pre-Run Snack Tips

For optimal endurance, pre-run snacks should include a source of high quality carbohydrate which will: supply liver glycogen (carbohydrate) stores, maintain energy levels, enhance performance and prevent low blood sugar & hunger. Examples of high quality carbohydrate:

♥ Whole grains like oatmeal, 100% whole grain bread, pasta, crackers and starchy vegetables are complex carbohydrates which are great for energy endurance as they are digested slowly.

♥ Whole fruit like berries and apples are simple carbohydrates but contain fiber for blood glucose control and slow digestion. Couple fruit with protein like low-fat cheese or heart healthy fats like natural peanut butter, for sustained energy throughout your work out.

♥ Low-fat & fat-free dairy products like yogurt and milk contain carbohydrates for energy from the natural sugar lactose and high quality protein for energy endurance.

Post-Run Snack Tips

For optimal recovery after running, carbohydrates are needed to replenish energy (liver glycogen stores), and protein is helpful for rebuilding and repairing muscle. A protein and carbohydrate containing snack should be consumed immediately after exercise, followed by a meal at least 1 hour later. While protein supplements are appealing, protein from whole foods like lean meat, fat-free or low-fat dairy, beans & legumes are best as they provide an array of other nutrients needed for overall health.  Below are heart healthy snacks that are appropriate for pre and post running.

♥ 8oz plain low-fat yogurt, 2 tbsp walnuts, ¾ cup blueberries

♥ Small 100% whole wheat bagel, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter, 2 tbsp dried cranberries

♥ 1 cup whole grain cereal, low-fat milk & sliced bananas

♥ Smoothie-1 cup frozen fruit, 2 tbsp ground flax seed, 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

♥ 1oz low-fat cheese stick, 10 apple slices

These snacks are filled with heart protective antioxidants, cholesterol lowering fiber and heart healthy fats. In a nutshell, balanced nutrition will help improve performance, promote recovery and overall health.

About Cheryl Williams:

Cheryl Williams is a registered dietitian specializing in the nutritional management of a variety of chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. In her current position at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center Cheryl provides nutrition therapy, wellness coaching, monthly nutrition seminars and healthy cooking demonstrations.

What Are the Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease?

As we pointed out in our previous Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) post, nearly half of people with this condition are unaware of their diagnosis because they experience no symptoms or are unaware that their complaints are due to PAD.  PAD can develop slowly over one’s lifetime so that symptoms may not present until arteries are severely blocked.

One of the major symptoms associated with this disease is referred to as claudication, which involves pain or cramping in the arms or legs during exercise or merely walking.  Every patient is different and some may experience it as heaviness, burning, or numbness.  The pain typically diminishes with rest, and may be severe, depending on the blockage of the artery.  When involving the legs, this symptom occurs most commonly in the calf muscle, but can often involve the buttocks or thighs.  Claudication may occur in one or both legs.  Discomfort is often worse when walking up stairs or uphill.

In severe cases, PAD can also cause symptoms that involve intense pain at rest. This is due to insufficient amounts of blood or oxygen reaching the legs even in the resting state.  Patients may find that they have severe pain at night relieved by hanging the foot down from the bed.

Other symptoms of PAD include:

–       Numbness of the limbs/extremities

–       Sensation of coldness in the legs or feet

–       Ulcers in the toes

–       Redness or discoloration of the skin

–       Foot and toe sore that will not heal

–       Loss of hair on the legs and changes in nail growth

Our next post will discuss which patients and/or candidates should be treated for PAD. If you have questions on the symptoms of PAD, or about this condition in general, please be sure to let me know in the comments.

About Chandan Devireddy, MD:

Dr. Devireddy specializes in Interventional Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine, and has been practicing with Emory since 2005. He actively participates in the Interventional Cardiology research department, which has been a significant enroller in several multi-center clinical trials. His individual research interests include acute coronary syndromes, novel coronary and peripheral technology, and medical and interventional treatment of peripheral vascular diseases.

Take a Tour of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Emory

In this post, I’d like to introduce you to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Emory Healthcare. The facility offers state-of-the-art amenities, panoramic views, and experienced staff to care for patients following heart attacks, open heart surgery, angioplasty, and stent placement.

Our mission is to help reduce risk factors for heart disease through exercise, education, and support. If you’d like to visit us in person, please call 404-778-2850 to arrange a site visit. We’re available Monday through Friday (except on major holidays) and are located within the Earle B. and Stephanie Blomeyer Fitness Center at 1525 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. We’ll help you to identify your risk factors and generate a plan to make you healthier.

Here, you can join me on a virtual tour to learn more about what we can offer patients as they recover from heart procedures:

If you have any questions or comments about our facility, please feel free to let me know in the comments section.