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Verna Austen: Berwyn Library has information about heart health

Published: Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 11:58 a.m. CST

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more deaths than cancer, accidents and chronic respiratory diseases combined.

These deaths are largely preventable with healthy diet and lifestyle choices. February is American Heart Month.

The Berwyn Public Library is an affiliate member of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Contact the Reference Department at 708-795-8000, ext. 3038, or email reference@berwynlibrary.org and take advantage of the library’s “Ask Us!” service for information on a diagnosed medical condition.

The materials provided are meant for informational purposes only. They are for use as a tool in becoming an informed health consumer to help in making proactive decisions about your health care in partnership with your physician.

We can take steps to protect our hearts by being physically active for at least 30 minutes every day and by eating a heart-healthy diet low in sodium with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. A pet provides companionship as well as the health benefit of daily walks.

Meditation, yoga, qigong and Pilates are low-impact activities that alleviate stress as well as protect flexibility and muscle strength.

Finding support to quit smoking. Visiting a doctor yearly to check blood pressure and cholesterol levels and to screen for diabetes are also important ways to protect our heart.

The library’s Consumer Health Center is dedicated to providing the most current health information available for making healthful lifestyle choices. Access our database Consumer Health Complete within the library or from home to research health-related issues, medical encyclopedias, prescription drug information and alternative therapies. Visit us for brochures and pamphlets on health topics and check out our meditation and relaxation CDs and exercise videos.

Don’t break your heart! Make informed choices and keep your heart healthy.

Verna Austen is a reference librarian for the Berwyn Public Library

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