By Bailey Breeding
Community Relations Intern

With all the hearts around for Valentine’s day, this month is a good time to start thinking about yours! Keeping up on heart heath is important to keeping your whole body strong. Some ways to keep your heart happy and healthy include:

Eat healthy, make sure you are getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains and healthy fats. Try to limit your intake of salt, sugar, alcohol, saturated fats and trans fats.
Stay active, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity daily. This could be simple, such as going for a walk.

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can lead to other conditions that can increase your risk of heart disease. These conditions include high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type two diabetes.

Get good quality sleep, most adults need at least seven hours of sleep a night. Make sleep a priority, set a sleep schedule and stick to it.
Get regular health screenings. Blood pressure screenings should be done regularly.
Don’t smoke. If you are not a smoker, be sure to avoid secondhand smoke.
Managing stress, make sure you are coping with stress in healthy ways, such as physical activity, relaxation exercise, or meditation.

One of the many downsides of the COVID-19 pandemic is the lack of upkeep with routine medical care, such as heart check-ups. We’ve also seen a decrease in physical activity as many individuals sheltered in place to protect themselves from the virus.
Some hearts may skip a beat this Valentine’s Day, but do you know what to do if a heart stops? Chest pain calls are one of the most common call types for RVFD. Bystander CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) is an easy skill to learn that can help save a life when a cardiac arrest occurs. If CRP is performed immediately, it can double or even triple the chance of survival, according to the American Heart Association.

Keeping the heart pumping is the number one goal of CPR. Bystanders that attempt to help by performing CPR on someone in cardiac arrest are protected by Good Samaritan laws. If you do chose to do CPR, hands-only CPR is a great start.
RVFD offers free non-certification CPR classes to our residents. These classes are a great way to learn CPR, or brush up on your CPR skills if it’s been a while. Sign-up at up at for our next class on March 5th at 8:00 AM at Station 292 or call (520) 647-3760. Let’s work to keep our community safe and healthy this Valentine’s Day!

Bailey grew up in Vail and graduated from Andrada Polytechnic High School. She is interning at RVFD, where she is working on safety education outreach, while obtaining a degree in fire science. Bailey loves coaching volleyball and hiking in Arizona.

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