Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for Americans? In fact, more than 800,000 people die a year (one in three overall deaths). The American Heart Association (AHA) lists ‘Life Simple 7’ which are risk factors to help monitor cardiovascular health. These seven risk factors are not smoking; being physically active; having normal blood pressure, blood glucose, and total cholesterol levels, and weight; and eating a healthy diet. Free resources are available on the American Heart Association website that also provides personal self assessments for free. Along with the health assessment, it provides an action plan to take steps for better health.
If you are putting off going to that website, perhaps reading Jennifer LaRue Huget’s article in the Washington Post describing embarrassing low trends in the overall health of Americans might motivate you. I was surprised and greatly motivated.
There are many free health resources and lots of attention supporting good health, but why is it still difficult for people to achieve healthy outcomes? Donald Lloyd-Jones’ commentary on the study that Huget references reiterates what most all public officials agree on — there need to be large societal changes to help guide people to change. It seems that this is slow in coming, and instead of waiting for it, it’s time for Americans to make the changes individually. Are you ready?
Partners in Health and Wholeness wants to help you make needed changes. There is something that we all can do differently to improve our health. We want people of faith to engage in healthy behaviors, and to be supported within their congregations. Please see our resources for churches here. One way to get started with our free resources is to sign the endorsement resolution. If your church is already engaging in health initiatives, then compare yourselves against our PHW certification levels and get rewarded for your hard work.
–Joy Williams, PHW Regional Consultant
Partners in Health and Wholeness is an initiative of the NC Council of Churches. Please visit our website to view more resources on health and faith.