May 012019
 

Small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in a person’s heart health, according to Stephanie   Portnall and Cierra Ketchel of the American Heart Association, guest speakers at Capital Rotary’s May 1 meeting.  Portnall (at right in photo) and Ketchel were welcomed by Rotarian Harry Carter.   Although heart disease or strokes cause a third of all deaths, 7 out of 10 Americans don’t consider themselves at-risk and almost half put no effort into improving heart health.  Lifestyle changes to boost longevity include (1) getting at least 30 minutes of daily exercise; (2) losing weight; (3) controlling cholesterol and reducing blood sugar to combat plaque growth in arteries; (4) managing blood pressure; (5) eating more fruits and vegetables; and (6) quitting smoking – which is the number one modifiable cause of death.  Portnall and Ketchel also demonstrated hands-only CPR using chest compressions that can double or triple survival chances for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims.  A University of South Carolina graduate, Portnall has worked for a year with the Heart Association.  Ketchel is an agency intern and a rising senior in USC’s Arnold School of Public and Health.

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