Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

February 18, 2016
Contact: Scott Salotto (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind residents that February is Heart Month, a good time to learn how to prevent heart disease and stay "heart healthy."

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. "The good news is that you can help prevent heart disease by making healthy choices and managing any medical conditions you may have," said Dr. Ruppert. Talk to your doctor about the following steps you can take to help lower your risk and help prevent heart disease:

Get active: Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking or bicycling, every week.

Eat healthy and set a goal of maintaining a healthy weight: Choosing healthful meals and snacks can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. Eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt (sodium) in your diet also can lower your blood pressure. Limiting sugar in your diet can lower you blood sugar level to prevent or help control diabetes. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for heart disease.

  • Ready to lose weight? The Lose to Win Weight Loss Program uses the latest guidelines to help you lose weight safely and successfully. There is a $10 fee due at the time of registration. The next eight-session program begins February 24 from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM in Spring Valley. Call (845) 364-2500 for more information and to register.

Quit smoking (and stay away from secondhand smoke): Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. Get help to successfully quit smoking: call Put It Out Rockland at (845) 364-2651 for one-on-one, or group, help with quitting and low-cost nicotine patches that can double your chances of being successful, or call the New York State Smokers' Quitline at 1-866- NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) for help with quitting.

Control your cholesterol and blood pressure: Talk to your doctor about how often you should get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked, and about how your numbers affect your risk for heart disease. If you're taking medication to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure (or diabetes), follow your doctor's instructions carefully.

If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation: This means no more than 1 drink a day for women and no more than 2 drinks a day for men.

Keep your blood sugar levels under control: People with diabetes have a higher-than-average risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The good news is that lifestyle changes that help keep your blood sugar under good control can help reduce your risk for heart disease.

  • If you are an adult with type 2 diabetes or are a caregiver to someone with type 2 diabetes, take part in the Health Department's free workshop series, Living Well With Diabetes. The next six-session workshop series begins Monday, February 29 from 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM in Congers. Call (845) 364-2500 for more information and to register.
  • If you are at risk for diabetes, or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, you may be eligible to take part in the free, highly successful Diabetes Prevention Program, a proven way to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by making small lifestyle changes. Call (845) 364-2500 for more information and to register. The next 16-session workshop series begin: Thursday, February 25 from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM in Nyack, and Tuesday, March 1 from 2:15 PM to 3:15 PM in Garnerville.

To learn more about preventing heart disease, speak with your doctor, or visit the American Heart Association website at and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at