ALTON, IL – It can be easy to hibernate in February as those New Year’s resolutions to exercise more begin to wear off. That makes winter a prime time for a decrease in cardiovascular exercise, which is not conducive to heart health.

Alton Memorial’s Heart/Stroke Fair, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, is a good way to get people out of the house and learn how to protect one of the body’s most important muscles.

Formerly known as the Heart Fair, the Heart/Stroke Fair reflects Alton Memorial’s commitment to become the Metro East area’s first Joint Commission-certified stroke center. The free event is designed to help area residents assess their heart health and learn about prevention and treatment of heart disease, the top health problem in the United States. Call 1-800-392-0936 to register.

Alton Memorial Hospital heart experts will be on hand to address the impact of exercise, smoking, diabetes, sleep disorders, nutrition, medications and stress on the heart. A variety of informational booths will provide details on such topics as heart attack, congestive heart failure, emergency care, angioplasty, peripheral artery disease, depression, stress management, diet and nutrition.

In addition to the product fair in the lobby, Sandy Solomon, stroke center coordinator at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, will speak about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of strokes. Also present will be Stephanie Watson, RN, BSN, the stroke center coordinator at Alton Memorial.

The Heart Fair will again offer a variety of health screenings, including cholesterol (fasting is required), blood pressure checks and a pulmonary function test. That screening package is free and requires an appointment by calling 1-800-392-0936. Visitors can register for the screening package when they call to register for the fair itself.

A body composition measure by Nautilus will also be available free of charge and without an appointment in the lobby, and blood pressure only will also available without an appointment.

Free boxed meals from Quizno’s will be served beginning at 10:45 a.m. in the cafeteria. You must register in advance for the fair to assure yourself a free meal. Everyone who pre-registers will get a green lunch ticket at the registration table and will be served first. Walk-ins will be served only if there are enough meals left.

The fair will also include plenty of free gifts.

Cardiovascular disease claims more than a million lives each year in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. The prevalence of the disease is attributed to lifestyle and diet choices and, in some cases, heredity. Uncontrolled cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood clots and narrowing blood vessels set the stage for heart attack, the leading cause of death associated with heart disease. Routine monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as regular checkups with a doctor, can help individuals maintain a healthier heart.

Enter the fair via the hospital’s Duncan Wing entrance and proceed down the corridor toward the Beeby Wing, where the registration table will be located.

 

Respiratory therapists will be on hand to offer pulmonary function tests as part of Alton Memorial Hospital’s Heart/Stroke Fair on Saturday, Feb. 19. Call 1-800-392-0936 to register.

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