August 15, 2019
PROMOTE HEART HEALTH AS A FAMILY
ThedaCare Cardiologist Offers Suggestions for Healthy Lives
APPLETON, Wis. – What if you could help protect your family from the most common cause of death for both men and women? Here’s some good news: There are steps you can take to help them take care of themselves. Encouraging a heart-healthy lifestyle can lower the risk of heart disease and future health problems — and will benefit all of you.
“It starts with children. They’re like little sponges,” said Simone Fearon, MD, Cardiovascular Medical Director and Physician Leader with ThedaCare Cardiovascular Care. “They respond to what they see more than what they hear from parents, grandparents and caregivers, so by setting the tone in your home and incorporating healthy choices, you can prepare kids for a healthier life.”
For instance, you may not care for vegetables, but by finding your favorites and using them creatively in recipes, you can make them part of your family’s lifestyle.
“Most vegetables don’t have a lot of taste, so you can blend them with other foods to work them into your diet,” said Dr. Fearon. “Tell them and show them that candy, fried foods, red meat and other not-so-healthy foods should be occasional treats.”
You can also help protect them from the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle by setting an example as well as encouraging them to stay active. Don’t just tell them to stop staring at their phones, put yours down and get moving. Don’t just send them outside, go with them and have some active fun. If they love sports, support their involvement. Take walks together, and try taking part in walkathons and other activities as a family.
Also keep in mind that mental and physical health are closely linked. Make sure you’re setting an example by finding healthy ways to cope with stress instead of turning to harmful habits such as alcohol. If you or if someone in your family needs help, get it and don’t be embarrassed or ashamed. Encourage kids to talk about their feelings, and don’t belittle them when they do.
Also, it should go without saying, don’t use tobacco. Smoking and vaping are known risk factors for heart disease and many other health problems.
“Give them the right start, and they’ll carry those choices into adulthood,” said Dr. Fearon. “You can make a huge difference that can last for generations as those behaviors are handed down.”
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.
Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.