Ready For Football?! The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association draw the scrimmage line on healthy tailgating.

Football season is back, and you know what that means! Time to grab your jersey, don your lucky socks, get ready to talk some smack and grab some munchies before kickoff.

But can you keep it healthy at your tailgate party or football-watching bash? Yes! If you’re already firing up the grill and throwing some cold ones on ice, you need to check out our playbook to make sure your tailgate equals a touchdown. No need to bench the chili and wings. With just a few minor tweaks, your menu can go from second string to starter.

We get it. A few “bad-for-you” snacks and drinks might not sound like a big deal now, but all those empty calories add up. Those poor choices today are setting your body up for a blitz in the long haul, and putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 4 health threats.

Why should you switch out your seasonal favorites in favor of healthier choices? Simply put, Life is WhyThe American Heart Association and American Stroke Association set the scrimmage line with these tailgating do’s and don’ts:

The Do’s:

  • Do choose your sides in moderation. Try to make sure your plate is colorful, with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Do drink lots of water. You may think you’re feeling hungry, but you may actually just be dehydrated.
  • Do reach for sparkling water with fruit wedges instead of sugar-sweetened sodas.
  • Do choose lean or extra-lean beef burgers, and keep the patties to the size of a deck of cards. Or try turkey burgers or salmon burgers, which are tasty and give you the essential omega-3 fatty acids your body needs.

The Don’ts:

  • Don’t eat if you’re not hungry, just for something to do at the game.
  • Don’t grab fried wings. Try replacing them with grilled chicken breast strips tossed in a small amount of your favorite sauce.
  • Don’t keep chips, nachos and other high-calorie snacks around. For a crunchy snack, try cut veggies with hummus, salsa or other low-fat dip.
  • Don’t overindulge on alcoholic beverages. Too much beer, wine or liquor impairs judgment and can cause us to eat more.

Looking for more healthy tips for your next football bash? Visit www.heart.org/GettingHealthy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Staying Healthy in College is More Than Just Fitting in Those Skinny Jeans

Heading back to school and dreading the all-you-can-eat cafeteria? First year and fearing the “Freshman 15”?  Staying healthy in college is more than just fitting into your skinny jeans—it can seriously help you later on in life.

Why care now, you ask?  The American Heart Association says ‘Life is Why.’ Here’s a lesson you don’t want to forget: nearly 68 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, and obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers.

Check out this ‘study guide’ to help your health exam.

  1. Did you check in?  After you’ve successfully updated your status on your social networks, pop over to this online tool to check your calories.  Managing weight is a simple equation of burning as many calories as you take in.  Use the app, manage your weight and continue to update your status.  www.heart.org/MyFatsTranslator.
  2. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but eat your fruits and veggies.  Mom and Dad were on to something when they taught you to eat an apple a day.  The American Heart Association recommends filling half your plate with fruits and/or vegetables at every meal.  Fruits and vegetables are low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods that keep you satisfied and may help you maintain weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.      
  3. Stay hydrated my friends.  Water is the best way to stay hydrated.  Reach for water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and sports drinks, which add extra calories with little nutritional value.  Plain water too boring?  Try sparkling water or add fruit wedges to jazz it up.
  4. Put down the double bacon cheeseburger.  It sounds like a delicious option after that all-nighter you pulled, but your heart won’t be happy with you.  Instead, reach for a grilled turkey burger piled high with veggies like avocado, tomato, onions and lettuce. In other words, choose lean cuts of meat and poultry without skin and extra fat removed.  Opt for grilled, baked, broiled, poached or roasted (we promise, it’ll still taste delish!)
  5. Something sounds fishy!  We’re talking about that deep-fried, breaded basket that you took in the cafeteria line.  Instead, try baked, broiled or grilled fish (especially the oil kind, like salmon or trout) twice a week.  
  6. Slow down there, slugger.  Let’s just say, drink in moderation.  Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories and can have other negative effects on your health.  The American Heart Association recommends no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.  Tiny umbrella optional.
  7. Stuff your face!  With healthy snacks, that is!  In between classes and studying, it’s sometimes hard to find healthy options.  So when you need a bite, stuff your face with fresh fruits and veggies, unsalted nuts and seeds, and low-fat whole-grain crackers.
  8. Strike a (yoga) pose.  Put down the cupcake and fight your stress without food.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try yoga, take a walk, go to the gym or call friends or family.  Remember, you’re allowed to take breaks from studying in order to recharge.
  9. We like to move it, move it.  Cue the dance music, lace up those running shoes or grab a Frisbee.  No matter how you like to move it (move it!), maintaining weight is about burning the same amount of calories as you consume.  Developing a regular exercise routine (at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) is the best way to burn additional calories and manage stress.
  10. Take your phone out.  No, not to tweet.  To check your portions.  One of the easiest pitfalls for college students is all-you-can- eat cafeterias.  Portion control can help you keep track of the foods you are consuming without going overboard.  For instance, a serving of chicken breast (3 ounces) is about the size of a smart phone and a medium banana is about the size of a pencil.  For more portion comparisons, check out www.heart.org/PortionDistortion.

Looking for more tips on maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle?  Visit www.heart.org/GettingHealthy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Boston Scientific CEO to Lead 2014 Boston Heart Walk

Michael Mahoney, President and Chief Executive Officer, Boston Scientific, has been named volunteer chair of this year’s 2014 Boston Heart Walk on September 6 at the DCR Hatch Shell along the Charles River Esplanade. The event supports the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Mike Mahoney, Chairman of the 2014 Boston Heart Walk

Mike Mahoney, Chair of the 2014 Boston Heart Walk

As part of his leadership, Mahoney is encouraging companies, organizations and residents throughout Greater Boston to come together to take steps against our No.1 killer, heart disease, while supporting vital research and education for the American Heart and Stroke Association.

“I’m proud to lead this year’s Boston Heart Walk, It’s the perfect way to share our commitment to the total health of our workforce and the community, through heart-healthy exercise,” said Mahoney. “We all know someone who has been impacted by heart disease or stroke, and I encourage the community to join me and the Boston Scientific team on September 6 in supporting the cause.”

The Boston Heart Walk will be held rain or shine on Saturday, September 6, 2014, at the DCR Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade. Registration will begin at 9:00 am and the walk kicks-off at 10:00 am, with all heart and stroke survivors to be invited onstage for a Red Cap wave. Walk routes include a 1-, 2- or 6-mile path along the Charles River.

The Boston Heart Walk is nationally sponsored by Subway and locally sponsored Boston Scientific, Philips Healthcare and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Media sponsors include 98.5 The Sports Hub, 100.7 WZLX, 103.3 AMP Radio, Mix 104.1 and WBZ NewsRadio. For more information please visit www.bostonheartwalk.org.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Southborough Resident to Chair 2014 Heart of the Commonwealth Celebration & Wine Tasting

We’re thrilled to announce that Southborough resident, Elizabeth L.B. Greene, a Partner at Mirick O’Connell, with offices in Westborough, Worcester and Boston, will Chair the 2014 Heart of the Commonwealth Celebration & Wine Tasting event, which is set for Saturday, September 20th, at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden!

Elizabeth Greene

Elizabeth L.B. Greene of Southborough and Partner at Mirick O’Connell will Chair the 2014 Heart of the Commonwealth Event.

As Chair, Greene will provide leadership for the event planning and recruitment of participants and sponsors. A Partner in Mirick O’Connell’s Litigation Group and a member of the Firm’s Health Law Group, Greene was selected by her peers in 2013 and 2014 for inclusion in The Best Lawyer’s in America in the field of Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, and was named a Massachusetts “Super Lawyer” by Boston magazine and Law & Politics in 2013. Greene is a former recipient of the Worcester Business Journal’s “40 under Forty” professionals honored for her professional excellence and community service.

“Heart disease and stroke are our No. 1 and No. 4 killers, but with support from our local businesses we can help the American Heart Association make an impact and save lives,” said Greene. “I am proud to Chair this year’s Heart of the Commonwealth event, which will help raise awareness and critical funds for educational programs and lifesaving research taking place right here in Massachusetts.”

Greene has been an American Heart Association volunteer since she founded the Central Massachusetts Division Board of Directors seventeen years ago. Since then, she has chaired that Board for many years, currently serves as Chair of the Division Advocacy Committee, served as a member of the Northeast Affiliate and the Founders Affiliate Boards of Directors, and was the Chair of the Corporate Operations and Development Committee for the Northeast Affiliate Board. Greene has also been a dedicated Heart Walk volunteer and advocate for the organization serving as a “You’re the Cure” member, on advocacy and health initiatives committees at the local and affiliate levels, and participating in lobby days in Washington, D.C.

The Heart of the Commonwealth Celebration & Wine Tasting, which will attract more than 250 of central Massachusetts’ most prominent business and healthcare professionals, is the annual social event benefiting the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association in its mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. We can be proud that over $31 million of American Heart Association funded lifesaving research takes place right here in Massachusetts. The evening will include a cocktail reception followed by wine & microbrew tasting, silent auction and live music performed by Rusty Scott Jazz Trio. For more information and to purchase event tickets, please visit http://heartofthecommonwealth.heart.org.

The Heart of the Commonwealth Celebration and Wine & Microbrew Tasting is sponsored by Hanover Insurance Group Foundation, UMass Memorial Health Care, Southboro Medical Group, Worcester Business Journal and WXLO.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Eight local non-profits receive Community Impact Grants to fund heart-healthy programs

Beyond Soccer participants learn how to make a heart-healthy snack to help fuel their play!

Beyond Soccer participants learn how to make a heart-healthy snack to help fuel their play!

The American Heart Association has awarded eight Community Impact Grants totaling$125,000 to local non-profit community groups and organizations for programs aimed at combating childhood obesity and improving family health.

The recipients for this year’s Community Impact Grants are: Playworks – Developmental Sports League, Beyond Soccer – Health Kicks!, Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Teen Heart Health and Wellness Program, East Boston YMCA – Ashley Street Community Wellness Program, Harbor Health Services – Building Blocks of Health, Healthworks Community Fitness – Fitspiration, and Vineyard Community Offerings – North Cambridge Fit. An additional Go Red For Women focused grant was awarded to Brigham and Women’s Cardiovascular Wellness Department.

“Each of these community groups and organizations share a mutual passion with the American Heart Association in building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, and in particular, a dedication to combating childhood obesity and improving family health,” said Penny McGuire, Director of Community Health for the American Heart Association.“ This funding will help provide each recipient with the opportunities to ensure meaningful activities continue and that new, creative projects are developed.”

Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood. If current trends continue, today’s kids could be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents. Parents and caregivers are essential decision makers when it comes to the nutrition, physical activity and health needs of children. This group of both new and continuing partners will provide invaluable resources and education to the communities most in need in the fight against childhood obesity.

The Greater Boston Division of the American Heart Association has recognized the need to support community-based activities that address our mission to build healthier lives and fight heart disease and stroke. This year’s Community Impact Grants program is made possible through a sponsorship by Santander Bank, N.A., whose funding is helping to ensure that these activities continue and that new, creative projects and partnerships are developed. For more information regarding the Community Impact Grant program, please go to www.heart.org/BostonCIG.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment