Top 5 Things Women Can Do For a Healthier Heart

Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center Creates List of Top 5 Things Women Can Do During Heart Month to Reduce Heart Disease

HARTSVILLE, SC (February 3, 2011) — Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center  is excited to announce a fun and easy way for women to boost their heart health in recognition of February being the American Heart Association’s official Heart Month.  These are five unique new habits that women of any age can do to reduce the risk of heart disease and start building a lifestyle that lowers the incidence of heart-related problems.

“Like hospitals across the nation, we keep seeing an increase in the number of female patients presenting with conditions that are brought on by heart disease,” says Dr. Juan Rodriguez, Hartsville Cardiology. “It’s the number one killer in America so our top 5 list was created with the idea that if we made combating heart disease really fun and easy for women living in the Pee Dee area, then they might actually enjoy taking these steps and we’d see a decrease in heart attacks and diseases complicated by poor heart health.”

The hospital recognizes and endorses the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, which aims to reduce coronary heart disease and stroke risk each year. The five recommendations below were created to inspire women to find alternative lifestyle behaviors that can be easily modified in an effort to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Top 5 Things Women Can Do on a Daily Basis to Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

  1. Limit your drive thru activity. Let’s face it: Convenience is not a good tradeoff for your health.  Just about everything you buy at a drive thru window is prepared in under two minutes, which typically means its pre-processed food that’s cooked quickly, e.g., fried in animal fat. Nutrition experts recommend packing healthy snacks like granola bars or fruit to reduce in-between meal cravings that compel trips to a drive-thru.
  2. Don’t let the sun go down on you. Remember recess? Well, adults need playtime outside too so take a pass on the afternoon movie or lunch in the break room and go explore some nearby local parks. Patients that exercise regularly before a visit to the hospital recover much faster. So do a Google map search of the parks near your work and home and make it a point of enjoying your tax dollars.
  3. Park far away or take the stairs. We know how awesome it is to nab the closest parking spot to the door or nearest the elevator, but for your heart’s sake, take yourself out of the competition and park further away in the lot and opt for the stairs instead of the elevator.   Not only will you add steps to your day, you’ll also remove the anxiety you feel when you compete for a choice spot.
  4. Accessorize your wardrobe with a fun water bottle. Like purses and pooches, water bottles have become a stylish accessory. They are cheap enough to collect so buy a few to mix and match with all your outfits and don’t be caught without one. Did you know: Dehydration alone increases hospital recovery times and weakens the heart. So ditch the diet sodas, which deplete the body’s natural water balance. Adequate water consumption is one of the most important elements in your body’s overall health.
  5. Add a little XOXOX. Remarkably, the benefits of physical attention are amazing. It is observed that patients whose family members visit often and provide comfort through touch are more compliant during treatment and have a better outlook on recovery. Plus, hugs and kisses raise heart rates and spirits. So do your part to keep heart rates up by adding a little more TLC to the day.

“We aren’t saying patients with heart disease should stop exercising and start kissing instead,” says Dr. Rodriguez.  “But as health care providers, we witness lifestyle trends that produce recognizable patient symptoms on a daily basis. We can spot a soda addict or couch potato a mile away.  These five tips were designed to show women that even a small change in their normal daily routines like parking far from the door promotes new behavior that can reduce so many problems that are related to heart disease.”

The staff at Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center  encourages local women to challenge themselves and think outside the box when it comes to matters of the heart. Finding creative ways to infuse new behaviors in common habits is not only fun, it’s a simple way to become involved in the campaign to reduce the incidence of heart disease for women. The hospital says it will continue to advocate and teach behaviors that it hopes will reduce the number of heart-related hospital visits. For more information on how women can create a more heart-healthy lifestyle, go to The American Heart Association’s ‘Go Red for Women’ website at

Located in Hartsville, Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center is a 116-bed acute-care hospital serving more than 60,000 residents in Hartsville/Darlington and the contiguous counties.  A full range of services and programs are offered:  ER/Trauma Center, Surgery, Sleep Lab, The Wound Center, Sports Medicine and Rehab, Cardiac Rehab, The Women’s Place, Imaging Department with Digital Mammography, MRI, Nuclear Medicine, Ultrasound, CT and much more.  Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center is accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).  Located at 1304 W. Bobo Newsom Highway.  To learn more information go to