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Improve your heart health with Healthy Emory
Exercise class; no caption

Heart disease is the most common disease in the United States, but the risk of developing heart disease can be lowered by eating well and exercising regularly. February is American Heart Month, and Healthy Emory has a wide range of programs and resources to help Emory University and Emory Healthcare employees improve their heart health.

Building healthy eating habits

Healthy Emory’s first campaign of the year, Operation Eat Right, focuses on encouraging employees to eat well-balanced meals consistently. Participants can earn medical plan well-being incentives or rewards by completing two activities: first, the Healthy Plate Challenge, where employees can record eating well-balanced meals for 21 days of the challenge duration; and, second, reading four articles about how to eat healthier. The campaign runs through March 31.

Healthy Emory is also hosting an online cooking demonstration called “Love Every Bite: A Plant-Based Menu Designed for the Heart” on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m. Mike Bacha, assistant director of culinary services at Emory University Hospital, will show participants how to prepare a delicious, heart-healthy meal.

“This cooking demo will complement our Operation Eat Right campaign efforts really nicely. We’re thrilled to bring this interactive and unique experience to the Emory community,” says Danielle Lenane, senior manager of well-being programs.

Rebecca Brickman, Healthy Emory’s registered dietitian and well-being specialist, will also participate in the demo to provide tips on how to eat a diet with more plants and whole foods. Interested participants can register for the demo online.

Benefitting from physical activity

Staying physically active is just as important as nutrition when it comes to heart health — and the Blomeyer Health Fitness Center is a great resource for improving physical health. Open to all Emory University and Emory Healthcare employees, Blomeyer offers services such as equipment orientation and fitness assessment, personal training, group fitness and massage therapy at affordable membership prices.

“Our goal is to help Emory employees feel stronger and empowered to live a healthy life,” says Eli Steele, fitness program manager.

Blomeyer’s staff supports members anywhere along their fitness journey.

For example, Suzy Blough, associate director of donor relations at the Rollins School of Public Health, saw a dramatic improvement in her strength after working with Isaiah Leon, health fitness specialist. “Isaiah’s depth of knowledge, patience, attention to detail and wonderful, enthusiastic approach to training is like nothing I’ve ever experienced in the past with other personal trainers,” Blough says.

Taking care of your heart

Because uncontrolled high blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, keeping a healthy blood pressure is one way to reduce risk. Emory supports employees in checking their blood pressure regularly with onsite blood pressure kiosks across campus.

Throughout February, Emory employees are encouraged to visit one of the 16 blood pressure kiosks across campus, take a selfie with it and post it on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #HealthySelfie. Participants will be entered to win a $15 Amazon gift card.

Kaiser Permanente is also offering a webinar, “Taking Care of Your Heart,” on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 1 p.m. The session is open to all Emory employees and will focus on how to identify risk factors and create a realistic action plan to keep your heart healthy for life. Registration for the webinar is available online.

Healthy Emory has a wide variety of campaigns and programs throughout the year to help maximize health and well-being. Learn more about these programs — and rewards — on the Healthy Emory site

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