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Have a Heart for Your Heart

According to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year. Cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 375,000 Americans a year. These health statistics are according to the 2015 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update, which is compiled annually by the American Heart Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and other government sources.

Marshall and Cameron Park Community Services District take this information seriously and have partnered to provide their fourth annual free Affair of the Heart event to help the community learn about the causes, preventive measures and tips to living a heart-healthy life.

The public health event is Thursday, Feb. 18 from 4-7 p.m. at the Cameron Park Community Center, 2502 Country Club Drive in Cameron Park.

A lot is packed into this three-hour event. Enjoy an evening of a variety of educational sessions including talks presented by Marshall experts, a cooking demonstration, exercise demonstrations, guitar music, boutique shopping and vendors promoting community health and recreation, free health screenings and chair massage, wine tastings and heart healthy foods provided by local restaurants.

Schedule and vendors

• 4:35 p.m. Taekwondo presentation by Bob Westphal
• 5-5:30 p.m. Scott Yoder, MD: Tips for Living a Heart Healthy Lifestyle
• 6:10-6:40 p.m. Scott Vasconcellos, MD: Know the Signs: Heart Attack Symptoms in Men and Women
• The free health screenings include: blood pressure, blood glucose, hearing screening, weight and body fat analysis and a chair massage
• 5:15 p.m. Guitar demonstration with Bob Gram
• Exercise demonstrations: zumba at 5:45 p.m. by Sue Spencer and zumba gold (chair dancing) by Kay Lenhart at 6:15 p.m.
• Cooking demonstration by Karen Helms of Karen’s Bakery and Café of Folsom from 4:30-5 p.m. and 6:15-6:45 p.m. Helms will talk about substituting healthy ingredients into baking and cooking.
• Vendors include Marshall Medical clinics, Marshall Plastic Surgery and Medical Spa, Cameron Park CSD, In Shape Fitness, doTERRA, Global Good, Two Hot Chicks, My Health Destiny, It’s Organic!, Damsel in Defense, Charmed by Victoria, Nerium International and Farmer’s Delicatessen & Bakery
• Recreation resources are provided by CP CSD.
• Healthy bites/appetizer contributors: Bella Bru Café and Catering, Selland’s Market Café, Bel Air, Annabelle’s Chocolates, Wally’s Pizza Bar and Los Pinos Restaurant
• Wine tasting is by Madroña Vineyards, Lava Cap Winery and Miraflores Winery

The focus on the evening is health.

“The presentations are very popular — standing room only last year — with participants engaging the cardiologists with lots of questions,” said Lourdes Edralin of Marshall.

Dr. Scott Vasconcellos said, “My goal is for people to gain a better understanding of their own personal risk for heart disease and the ability to recognize which symptoms should prompt them to seek immediate medical attention. While men are still more prone to heart attacks than women, heart attacks can be more dangerous to women because of the tendency for symptoms to go unrecognized. The age range most susceptible to heart attacks, without considering personal risk factors (e.g. family history, tobacco use, etc.), is any man over the age of 45 or woman over the age of 55.”

He also encourages people to know the signs of a heart attack and to act quickly if you suspect you or someone you’re with is having one.

“Don’t wait. Call 9-1-1,” he said.

Important signs

In women, the signs of a heart attack can be subtle. According to the American Heart Association, even though heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, women often chalk up the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, the flu or normal aging.

As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Vasconcellos points out that the symptoms of heart attacks in women often are not like the dramatic movie scenes where a man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground.

“Women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure,” he said. “Instead, women may have trouble breathing and feel pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen. Dizziness, weakness or extreme fatigue are other signs that call for an immediate trip to the hospital.”

Reducing risks

When it comes to modifying your personal risk factors for the disease, Scott Yoder, MD said the best approach is embracing a lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a healthy diet and stress reduction.

“A healthy lifestyle is the core for preventing and treating coronary disease,” Yoder said. “It can reduce your risks by up to 85 percent.

“If you smoke, the first step is to quit,” he said. “Then, commit to other ways that you can support your heart’s health.”

He advises taking charge of your cholesterol, managing blood pressure and keeping blood sugar at healthy levels.

Yoder said obesity and physical inactivity are important risk factors that can be modified. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.

“That’s just 30 minutes a day, five times a week,” he said.

Both cardiologists encourage talking with your doctor about your heart health and understanding your risks by monitoring blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Exercise is important

Since exercise plays a major role in living a healthier life and becomes even more important as individuals grow older, for preventive strategies Sue Spencer and Kay Lenhart, who provide the zumba and zumba gold demonstrations, described what zumba is and the benefits of zumba.

“Zumba is a Latin-based dance fitness class with easy to follow routines that incorporate salsa, merengue, Cumbia, reggaeton, Bollywood and belly dancing. The most fun you will ever have while getting an amazing workout, you can burn up to 800 calories per class. In the demonstration I’ll lead everyone through a few songs and teach a few of the ‘classic’ zumba moves. I teach at the CP CSD, people can register anytime. I prorate the session, so no worries if we’ve already started a round. First class is on me,” Lenhart said.

“Zumba gold teaches participants modified versions of the original zumba dance steps while paying attention to the special needs that seniors bring to fitness. Zumba chair exercises, a specialty of zumba gold, are offered to those with physical or psychological limitations. Chair classes last 20 to 30 minutes to ensure that participants get a workout without overdoing it. There are numerous benefits to the zumba gold program, many of which are felt after the very first class. It is not unusual to have participants in their 20s to participants in their 90s … all in the same class.

“What was once a struggle to simply lift their arms in the air, becomes a full stretch, easily done. Slouching torsos become straighter. Long faces become smiles, with chins that are held high. So much more is going on during this class. A new study has found that previously sedentary senior citizens who incorporated exercise into their lifestyles not only improved physical function, but experienced psychological benefits as well, (according to

“I hope to have participants join my demonstration. The music is fun and inviting and the moves are easy for everyone to follow. It is always a surprise to the participants how much can be achieved from a chair. It is definitely a fulfilling workout,” Lenhart said.

Exercise is a great way to help reduce stress, which is known to contribute to heart disease and heart attacks.

According to “Heart Disease and Stress: What’s the Link?” states that some have a hard time with stress because they are depressed and depression is linked to heart disease.

Music soothes

Recreation and relaxation are key to reducing stress. Since ancient days music has been known for reducing stress.

Bob Gram, who is presenting the guitar demonstration, will teach methods that he teaches in both his kids and adult classes.

“I will be sharing my personal story of struggles with anxiety and depression and the peace of mind the guitar gives me especially during down times,” Gram said.

The partnership between the Cameron Park Community Services District and the Marshall is a dynamic combination of the area’s expertise in the medical field and health and recreation for the mind and body, to live healthier longer and stronger.

Marshall recently received five stars for the quality of its cardiology care from Healthgrades, the leading online resource helping consumers make informed healthcare decisions. Marshall was recognized for its Treatment of Heart Attacks in 2016 and the Treatment of Heart Failure for the years 2015 and 2016.

Every year Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 33 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions.

“Since February is American Heart Month, we decided to provide the community with a fun and educational event that focuses on living a heart healthy lifestyle. The information provided by the doctors are good reminders of how we can do just that. This event has grown steadily over the years — we had more than 300 participants last year from all over the region,.” Edralin said.

There will be prizes donated by Bistro 33, Sienna Restaurant and Winterhill Olive Oils.

Carpooling is encouraged as parking is a premium at the Cameron Park Community Center. The event is free but online registration is requested at or by calling (530) 626-2894.

Music Soothes Class Doctor Smiling Doctor Smiling Patient Getting Blood Pressure Taken