VHV_Blog_Post_April-03

News & Events

Celebrate Earth Day With 3 Outdoor Exercises

Every April, people all over the world come together to celebrate Earth Day. It began in 1990 and is now recognized in over 192 countries. As Earth Day focuses on preserving the beauty of our planet, what better way to enjoy the celebration than spending time in nature? Here are 3 outdoor exercises that will do your heart and your mind good.

Swimming

It may still be spring, but Houston temps make it warm enough to start laps in the pool. The refreshingly cool water temperature will be nice once your heart rate gets going. Swimming is a great exercise that works your heart and lungs but is gentle on your joints. Just make sure you swim at a brisk pace–that is the key to keeping your heart rate going so you’ll burn those calories!

VHV_Blog_Post_April-01

Hiking

Going on a nice hike on a trail in the woods in a great way to soak in nature. You’ll burn extra calories with the rougher terrain, and the gorgeous scenery will do wonders for your stress levels, another bonus that will help your heart. Hiking has been shown to improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels as well as provide the cardio your heart needs to stay fit and strong.

VHV_Blog_Post_April-02

Driveway Workout

Want to get outdoors but not venture too far? This driveway workout may be the answer for you. It breaks up your typical routine but doesn’t require a lot of time or effort.

However you plan to get your heart-healthy exercise, now’s the perfect time to do it outdoors. When you need a cardiology specialist in Houston, visit us at Vital Heart & Vein. Our heart doctors will help you see why we’re known as the best cardiologists in Houston.

3 Myths About Varicose Veins

When it comes to varicose veins, there are many myths that are floating around, but buried under these false assumptions are also a lot of facts that many may not know.

Varicose veins are most often caused by a condition known as venous insufficiency, which is a name for vein disease that occurs when the veins in our legs no longer work properly in returning the blood from our legs back to our heart. This form of vein disease leads to pooling of blood in our legs.

varicose veins

When blood pools in our legs, we may experience many uncomfortable symptoms, including leg swelling, fatigue, achiness, heaviness, skin discoloration, and varicose and spider veins, which usually leads many to seek out treatment.

Vein disease can be caused by several factors, and it is usually a combination of them that results in symptoms. Age, genetics, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and leg injury or trauma can all contribute.

Myth #1: Varicose veins are caused by crossing your legs or standing for a long time.

Varicose veins result from an internal problem with the veins themselves, so crossing your legs and standing for long periods will not cause them to occur. Though excessive standing can worsen existing issues with veins, they have been shown to most likely not be the cause.

Myth #2: Varicose veins are merely a cosmetic inconvenience.

Not true! While many sufferers will have cosmetic concerns, many others seek out treatment because of the discomfort they’re feeling as a result of the veins. The swelling, achiness, and heaviness that varicose veins can cause leave many unable to enjoy life as they once did, and so they come to Vital Heart & Vein looking for a way to be active and feel good again.

Myth #3: Varicose veins are always visible.

Varicose veins don’t just occur on the surface of the skin, where we can see them. They can also occur much deeper, depending on how much tissue patients have between their muscle and their skin. This is why it’s important to come see us if you are experience pain or achiness, so we can help you get to the root of the problem.

No matter what symptoms you’re experiencing or what your particular concerns are regarding varicose veins, Vital Heart & Vein can help. Our vein treatments provide Houston patients with relief so that they can get back to doing the things they love. We have four vein centers in Houston, so look us up to see which location is closest to you.

What is American Heart Month?

Each February, American Heart Month arrives with the purpose of bringing awareness to heart disease and stroke. The month-long recognition serves to educate the public on the number one cause of death in the United States. As heart doctors, Vital Heart & Vein considers American Heart Month to be one of the most important health awareness events of the year.

American Heart Month encourages the public to make heart health a priority and is designed to bring awareness to many factors surrounding heart disease, such as risk factors, symptoms, complications, and new treatment options and tools that arise as we make further advances. We also promote healthy lifestyles that can lead to greater heart health, including healthier diets and regular exercise.

The first American Heart Month was recognized in 1964, when President Lyndon B. Johnson declared it so. Since that time, heart health in the United States has improved greatly, largely thanks to increased knowledge on causes and remedies. However, despite our advances, heart disease remains a serious and important issue. With more than 17 million deaths each year, heart disease and stroke are the number one causes of death in America. By 2030, that number could reach 23.6 million. Heart disease and stroke cost the country nearly $1 billion a day in a combination of medical costs and money lost due to low productivity.

The month includes specific actions and events, such as National Wear Red Day, the Million Hearts® initiative, and awareness activities targeted to both men and women.

There are several small ways you can encourage your loved ones to get involved with American Heart Month. Heart health begins at home with simple lifestyle changes, such as using spices to flavor and enhance food instead of salt. If you have children in school, reach out to administrators to see how they are encouraging physical exercise to get kids started early down the path to heart health. Reach out to doctors and nurses to see how you can get involved in helping educate the community.

The heart specialists at Vital Heart & Vein encourage a proactive approach to heart health year-round, but the push in February is nice because it makes it more visible to the public eye. Together, we believe that we can help Americans appreciate the value of a heart-healthy lifestyle and be on our way to a healthier future.

If you have heart disease issues, reach out to the best cardiologists in Houston, Vital Heart & Vein. We are proud to serve the Houston community, providing the best education, treatment, and prevention for a variety of cardiovascular conditions. To learn more, visit us online.

Heart-Healthy Holidays

This holiday season, there will be lots of opportunities to munch on treats that are a little less than heart-healthy. Between holiday parties and gatherings with family, the temptation to indulge will be strong, but there are ways to resist and still enjoy the fun. Your heart doctor will thank you!

One of the best things you can do for your heart is to de-stress, so don’t feel bad about turning down any invitations that will overburden you. When you do venture out to holiday parties, focus on mindful eating and snacking. In other words, don’t munch just because the food is there. Take stock on everything and allow yourself to either choose the healthier items or do overdo it.

When hosting a holiday party or family gathering, take advantage of your chance to serve what you will enjoy. Take it from the best cardiologists in Houston – eating heart-healthy doesn’t have to be boring. Check out these delicious and nutritious ideas!

Christmas Morning Waffles

Try these multi-grain delights to please your entire family after opening presents together. They are made heartier by incorporating oatmeal and whole wheat flour.

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Let the buttermilk soak with the oats for 15 minutes, mix in the wet ingredients, and then add all of that to the dry ingredients. Cook until waffles are crisp and golden brown.

Christmas Morning Waffles Image

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Add a punch of vitamin A to your holiday table with this healthier take on sweet potatoes. The maple gives it a hint of sweetness.

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place the potatoes in a 9 X 13 dish, cover with sauce mixture, and bake for an hour total.

Plate of Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes image

Coffee-Braised Pot Roast

Pot roasts are a great choice for holiday meals, but many recipes call for prepackaged spices that contain a lot of hidden ingredients that aren’t great for heart health. Control exactly what goes into your recipe and get great taste with this delicious recipe.

1 4-pound beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 cup strong brewed coffee

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced (4 cups)

Season beef with salt and pepper and brown for 5-7 minutes. Set aside and then soften the onions. Add the garlic and thyme. Stir in coffee and vinegar and simmer, then return beef to the pot. Cover and braise in the oven until tender, for about 3 hours at 300 degrees. Enjoy!

Plate of Coffee-Braised Pot Roast Image

Vital Heart and Vein are your heart specialists in Houston who want our patients to have a happy and healthy holiday season. If you need a cardiologist in Humble, Kingwood, or Pearland, TX, please give us a call!