How to Take Care of your Heart

By: Mikayla Harrison and Danielle Foster

Megan Creig's Background


Megan Creig is a middle aged woman who deals with high blood pressure. She also has a very unhealthy diet and needs some advice at how to control her heart health. If she does not change her lifestyle this could lead to a short life span and an increased chance in having a heart attack or disease.


  • Megan's work requires her to sit at a desk all day which allows for no exercise and she recently broke her ankle.
  • At work and home she snacks all day on unhealthy foods and drinks four to six cans of soda a day.
  • She also has a family history of high blood pressure and has been taking medications for the past eight years.

Total Cholesterol: 245mg/dL- the goal for total cholesterol should be under 200mg/dL

Triglycerides: 175mg/dL- Her triglyceride count is fairly high and should be under 150mg/dL

Recommendations from other Health Professionals:

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Risk Reduction Plan: Exercise

Trainer: Tom Sweat

As I read Megan Creig's background I noticed that she never exercised due to her broken ankle. I know, as a trainer, that injuries can be a huge hindrance in your daily exercise schedule. One of the things I recommend is to set a schedule so your exercising becomes an habit and easy to do throughout your day. An example or starter schedule could be:

  1. Wake up in the morning and immediately exercise by taking a fast paced walk and/or jog for about 10 minutes.
  2. Next continue to your errands and go to your job for the day.
  3. When you return home try to do yoga or watch an online video to change up your exercise routine.
  4. Try not to sit down and watch TV for more than 2 hours a day. If you do choose to watch TV exercise during commercial breaks by doing push-ups and crunches.

Tips and Advice: Motivation is hard when exercising especially on those lazy days. With a friend or dog you can use them to motivate you to exercise when it seems tricky. On weekends when you are not busy you should try to go outside and exercise by hiking or some other activity. Also start by checking your local gyms for a membership if you would like to try something else.
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Risk Reduction Plan: Heredity

Cardiologist: Rachel Newman

By looking at Megan's blood pressure which was 122/75 I noticed it was pretty average and normal, but she is taking medications which will lower her high blood pressure. She has dealt with high blood pressure for about 8 years which is a long time. If your high blood pressure increases like so then this could cause many heart problems in the future. With your high total cholesterol and high triglyceride count this can increase your chance of getting a heart disease and/or heart attack. Some ways to help decrease this percentage is to:

  • watch your waistline and diet
  • eye what sodium you are including in your diet and decrease the amount you consume
  • reducing the caffeine you also consume will be extremely helpful so try to limit your soda consumption throughout the week
  • visit your doctor to check your high blood pressure or get a device that measures your blood pressure (sphygmomanometer)

Tips and Advice: I know your high blood pressure is mostly genetic but there still are ways you can reduce and protect your heart. If your arteries get to damaged by your high blood pressure they cannot deliver enough oxygen for the body and heart allowing for a stroke or heart attack. Keep this in mind as you go around your day because bad habits can cause your high blood pressure to increase.
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Risk Reduction Plan: Diet

Nutritionist: Taylor Webster

When I looked into your diet I noticed that you eat a large amount of cholesterol in her diet. This explains her high total cholesterol and high triglyceride count as well. Your weight is unhealthy due to drinking about 4-6 cans of soda a day. I have come up with a 1800 calorie diet that will help reduce the fats and cholesterol in your diet and help you lose weight. The diet consists of:

  • 1 1/2 cups of fruit a day (focus on the whole fruits)
  • 2 1/2 cups of vegetables a day (make sure to vary your vegetable consumption)
  • 6 ounces of grains of day (half need to be whole grains)
  • 5 ounces of protein a day
  • 3 cups of low-fat milk/fat free milk

Tips and Advice: Also avoid an processed, junk, or sugary foods in your diet. If soda is a struggle to give up go gradually by reducing your cups of soda a day to about 2-3 and then 1-2 and so on so hopefully you can eliminate soda from your diet. A good idea is to write or log what you eat so you know what you are putting in your body and are aware.