Cardiac Care is Available at Estes Park Health

Heart Health needs to be top of mind

Heart disease is the leading killer of Americans. In addition to heart disease, 103 million adults have high blood pressure and 6.5 million are living with heart failure. The startling fact is that 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable with education and action. It’s not too late to make simple lifestyle changes that can make a big impact when it comes to your heart health.

BioIQ shares these tips to help you take care of your heart.

Stop smoking

Quitting smoking is the best thing that can be done for the heart and for overall health. Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States, and smokers have a higher risk of developing many chronic disorders, including the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries. Quitting is never easy, but there are lots of helpful resources for those looking to start. You can call Colorado QuitLine at 800-Quit-Now to get connected with a personal quitting coach.

Know your numbers

Maintaining a healthy weight, blood pressure and total cholesterol play a significant role in maintaining a healthy heart. While there are standard guidelines for blood pressure and cholesterol, ideal weight goals are individual to each person. A physician can help determine an appropriate goal weight based on additional factors such as age and height. You can reach the Estes Park Health Physician Clinic at 970-586-2200.

Screen for diabetes

Untreated diabetes can lead to heart disease, among many other complications. Diabetes can be easily detected through a simple blood test and managed a variety of ways under the care of a physician.

Get active

Heart pumping physical activity not only helps to prevent cardiovascular disease, but can also improve overall mental and physical health. The American Heart Association recommends five 30 minute moderate exercise sessions each week. While this may seem daunting, it is important to note that these sessions can be broken up into two or three 10 or 15-minute segments throughout the day. Walking, jogging, biking and swimming are all great forms of exercise. It is important to remember that something is always better than nothing. Opting to take the stairs and parking farther back in the parking lot are great ways to squeeze in activity when the time is short.

 Build some muscle

Strength training compliments cardiovascular exercise by toning muscles and burning fat. In addition, proper strength training can improve daily functional movements, decreasing the chance of injury. The American Heart Association recommends getting in two days of moderate to high-intensity strength training each week.

Eat smart

A healthy diet full of heart-smart foods is essential to a healthy heart and lifestyle. Salmon, nuts, berries, and oats are just a few of the heart “superfoods” that may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Dark chocolate is also on the list and is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth (in moderation).

Limit junk

To reap the full benefits of a heart-healthy diet, it’s important to limit intake of nutrient-poor junk foods. Added sugars, saturated fat and excessive sodium can all negatively impact heart health, as well as overall physical health. These foods, when eaten in excess, can cause weight gain, raise blood pressure and clog arteries, which are all risk factors for heart disease.

Stress less

Stress increases cortisol, which leads to weight gain, a key risk factor for heart disease. In addition, stress can lead to other unhealthy habits, making it harder to stick to a heart-healthy program. Stress can also decrease overall happiness and increase the risk for anxiety and depression. Many of the items on this list can also help with reducing stress, in addition to practicing positive self-talk and incorporating mindfulness meditation breaks throughout the day.

Sleep more

Sleeping restores the body, helps decrease stress and increases overall happiness. To reap the full benefits, clocking seven hours each night is key. A calming bedtime routine and going to bed and waking at the same time each day are all great ways to establish healthy sleep patterns. Getting ample sunshine and physical activity throughout the day also aid in improving sleep quality. If sleep is an issue for you, ask your physician for a referral to the Estes Park Health Sleep Lab.


A happy heart is a healthy heart. Making time for enjoyable activities and hobbies helps relieve stress and improves the overall mood, providing a great foundation for a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Could you help a cardiac arrest victim?

So now you have some tips to take care of your heart. The next outstanding questions is, “Do you know what to do if someone is having cardiac arrest in your presence?”

The American Heart Association suggest you follow these steps if you suspect that someone is experiencing cardiac arrest. Look for these signs:

  • Sudden loss of responsiveness.The person doesn’t respond, even if you tap him or her hard on the shoulders, or ask loudly if he or she is OK. The person doesn’t move, speak, blink or otherwise react.
  • No normal breathing.The person isn’t breathing or is only gasping for air.

If you have tried and failed to get the person to respond, and you think the person may be suffering cardiac arrest, here’s what to do to perform hands-only CPR:

  • Yell for help.Tell someone nearby to call 911. Ask that person or another bystander to bring you an AED (automated external defibrillator), if there’s one on hand. Tell them to hurry – time is of the essence. If you’re alone with an adult who has these signs of cardiac arrest, call 911 and get an AED (if one is available).
  • Check their breathing.If the person isn’t breathing or is only gasping, administer CPR.
  • Give CPR: Push hard and fast.Push down at least two inches at a rate of 100 to 120 pushes a minute in the center of the chest, allowing the chest to come back up to its normal position after each push.
  • Use an AED if available. Use the automated external defibrillator as soon as it arrives. Turn it on and follow the prompts.
  • Keep pushing.Continue administering CPR until the person starts to breathe or move, or until someone with more advanced training takes over.

Estes Park Health holds regular CPR Classes. The course is the American Heart Association Heartsaver course and students will receive a course completion card good for two years. You can go to and sign up for the class. The cost of the class is $35.00.

Your heart health is in good hands at Estes Park Health. Chad Stoltz, MD is Board Certified in Cardiovascular Medicine, Interventional Cardiology, Echocardiography and Nuclear Medicine. He serves as the Medical Director of the Cardiac Clinic and Cardiac Rehabilitation. Dr. Stoltz says, “I give direct, easy to understand feedback to help you understand your diagnosis and put you on your path to better health.” He is here to help you enjoy life abundantly.