Wellness Initiative Offers Up Heart-Healthy Programs to Faculty and Staff in Celebration of American Heart Month

American Heart Month, celebrated each February, is dedicated to motivating as many Americans as possible to adopt healthier lifestyles that can help prevent heart disease. As one of the hardest working muscles in your body, it’s crucial to include heart health as a regular part of your self-care routine. There are many steps that can be taken toward a healthier heart, including these offerings from the faculty and staff Wellness Initiative.

Take the 1,500 Jumping Jack Challenge!

Jumping jacks can improve both heart health and strength, thanks to the combination of cardiovascular conditioning and body weight resistance they provide. From Feb. 8-27, join the Wellness Initiative in a Teams group with the goal of achieving 1,500 jumping jacks over 20 days—that’s 75 per day. This challenge is suitable for all fitness levels, and jumping jack variations to help make it more or less challenging will be provided. Learn more or sign up.

What If One Hour a Day Could Change Everything?

That’s the central question of a new 21-day challenge where participants will commit to three 20-minute daily practices to help bring greater balance to daily life. Using the tools of meditation, movement and mindful moments, and with the support of a skilled facilitator, participants will build resilience, increase mindfulness, strengthen heart health and improve their overall sense of well-being. The challenge launches on Feb. 8, so learn more and/or sign up today!

Virtual Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Pilot Program 

Research shows that the simple process of checking and recording your blood pressure at least twice a month over a four-month period may lower blood pressure in those with high blood pressure. Proper nutrition, particularly a reduction in sodium, can help to lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure, as well.

The Wellness Initiative is partnering with the YMCA of Greater Syracuse to offer a Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring pilot program to eligible faculty and staff. The four-month-long program will focus on the practice of home self-monitoring, identifying triggers and adopting healthier eating habits to manage high blood pressure.

Attend an information session on Feb. 10 from noon-12:30 p.m. or Feb. 11 from 1-1:30 p.m. to learn more and see if you qualify.

Know Your Numbers Virtual Seminar

On Feb. 16 from noon-12:30 p.m., join guest speaker Dr. Stephen Cohen from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield to discuss the “big four” numbers when it comes to heart health—BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. Participants will learn what the goal levels are for these metrics and actions one can take to bring them into an appropriate range, if needed. Learn more or sign up.

Get to the Heart of It: Quiz Series

Faculty and staff are invited to participate in the Get to the Heart of It quiz series to boost heart health knowledge and learn valuable tips to ensure a healthy heart. Begin with Heart Health 101 and after submitting their responses, participants will receive an email with the answers, explanations, links to more resources and a link to the next quiz. Good luck!