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Riderwood goes red

Silver Spring community has heart to heart about heart health

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March 20th, 2015
Members of Riderwood’s African-American History in red
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Heart disease continues to claim the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. every year. That’s why residents at

Education is key

Resident Barbara Baskerville, a retired nurse educator from the University of the District of Columbia, organized an event at the Silver Spring, Md., Erickson Living community with the help of Riderwood’s African-American History Club. 

On Feb. 6, the group hosted a presentation on heart health, and resident Charles Curry, M.D., a retired cardiologist from Howard University Hospital, was the guest speaker.

In accordance with the American Heart Association “Go Red for Women” campaign, people who attended the event dressed in red, received “red dress” pins, and committed to sharing what they learned with others.

“Heart disease has traditionally been viewed as an ‘older man’s disease,’ but that couldn’t be further from reality,” Barbara says. “The American Heart Association notes that cardiovascular disease claims the lives of 500,000 women in the United States annually, so education is vital. Further, since heart disease does not care how you look on the outside, the goal of the African-American History Club is that all residents and staff will engage in heart healthy endeavors.”

Are you looking for ways to keep your own heart beating strong? Try these tips from Riderwood Medical Director Dr. Eugenio Machado:

Stay active. After consulting a physician, join a fitness center or exercise with friends. A goal of at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day, five times per week, can lower risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and even improve memory.   

Know and control your cholesterol. Cholesterol is a substance your body uses to make cell membranes and some hormones. But when you have too much cholesterol, it leads to plaque formation in your arteries, potentially causing blockages leading to heart disease.  

Eat a healthy diet. Concentrate on eating vegetables, fruit, fiber-rich whole grain products, and fish at least twice a week. And cut back on sugars and saturated fats. 

Manage blood pressure. Know your numbers! Reducing sodium intake, maintaining physical activity, and avoiding smoking help to keep blood pressure at an acceptable level. 

Lose weight. The more weight you carry, the greater the risk for increased blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and diabetes. Even losing a few pounds can reduce an overweight person’s risk for heart disease dramatically.

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