Heart360 – A Great Website Tool To Help Monitor Your Health

I’m not one to wait for New Year’s Day to make resolutions. Rather, when I realize there’s something I need to improve or fix, I want to get started right away. I’ll be the first to admit, there’s probably a lot more I could do to monitor my health and get more frequent physicals, but it seems I never find the time. A few weeks ago I learned about Health360 , a new site from the American Heart Association , that allows people to better monitor their health and communicate more effecitvely with their doctor. Read on to learn a bit more about the site and some important facts we all need to know about staying well.

What are some of the first steps that I can take to improve my health?
Start tracking!  Being aware of your health information and what the numbers mean to you is the first step you can take. Be sure you are regularly monitoring your health and talking with your provider to set personal goals to improve your health. You can log in to Heart360 and take My Life Check health assessment to understand what your current heart score is and to develop an action plan to improve it.

How do I know if a member of my family or I am at risk of high blood pressure?
High blood pressure can be sneaky. More than 30% of US adults has high blood pressure, but more than 1/3rd of those don’t even know they have it. High blood pressure has many risk factors, including: family history, age, race, weight (being overweight or obese), lack of physical activity, too much sodium in your diet, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, etc. It is important to regularly monitor your blood pressure, be aware of your numbers and what they mean to you, and to talk with your healthcare provider about steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.

How much physical activity do I need a week?
The American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). 30 minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember, however you will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 -15 minutes per day. You should always talk with your healthcare provider before you begin any new exercise regimen.

What is blood glucose?
Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body’s cells, and blood lipids (in the form of fats and oils) are primarily a compact energy store. Glucose is transported from the intestines or liver to body cells via the bloodstream, and is made available for cell absorption via the hormone insulin, produced by the body primarily in the pancreas. Blood glucose level is the amount of glucose (sugar) present in the blood.

What is Heart360?
Heart360 is on online health management tool that allows you to track your health information, access educational information and tools to understand and manage your health, and share your health information directly with your healthcare provider.

How does Heart360 and HealthVault help me manage my family and my health?
Heart360 allows you to track your blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, weight, physical activity, and medications – and access the tools and information you need to learn how to better manage your health. You can also easily create and manage accounts for each family member. Because Heart360 works within the Microsoft HealthVault platform, you can also access many other reputable applications to help manage your information as well. For instance, you could access one of the pharmacy applications to automatically upload your prescription information. You can even utilize one of the many devices that will automatically upload in to your Heart360/HealthVault account- eliminating the need for direct data inputs.

Heart360 is Internet based. How safe if my family and my health information?
Heart360 works on the Microsoft HealthVault platform, which is a secure database that stores your health information. You are in control of your health information and are the only person that can provide access to your health information to any application, person, or provider. Throughout your HealthVault experience you will encounter the need to formally approve access for any application or person you would like to work with through HealthVault.

How do I get my doctor to start using Heart360?
You can invite your provider by either printing an invitation and bringing with you to your next appointment or by emailing an invitation. If your provider is not ready to connect with you online, you can always download and print or email your health history and reports at any time to share with your provider.

What is Microsoft HealthVault and how does it work with Heart360?
Microsoft® HealthVault is a free personal health technology platform that lets you gather, store and share health information online. With HealthVault, users control their own health records, so they can privately share their health information with family, friends and healthcare professionals, and have access to trustworthy online health management tools like Heart360.

Why is my blood pressure important to my overall health?
High blood pressure can be a significant risk factor to developing heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and more. For instance, did you know that patients with high blood pressure are more than 60% likely to develop a stroke?

What health factors can I track on Heart360?
You can track your blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, weight, physical activity, and medications. You can even sign up to receive reminders when it is time to track your latest health information.

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