By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

With all the stressors we’ve been through and are currently going through, stress is at its peak with most everyone. It is important to make sure you find ways to reduce your stress.

We know the #1 killer of most is heart disease. There’s not a better time to Reclaim Your Rhythm and take back control of your physical health and mental well-being. The American Heart Association is helping people create healthy habits that work best for their life, giving them the best chance at life.

The pandemic has significantly impacted our risk for heart disease and stroke.


1 in 5 people reported lower physical wellness.

1 in 3 reported lower emotional wellness.

Over the past year, many of us have adopted unhealthy behaviors like skipping exercise, eating unhealthy foods, drinking more alcohol and using tobacco, which can all increase the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Here are five tips to help you Reclaim Your Rhythm:

Mellow out and reduce stress: The American Heart Association says a positive mindset can improve your overall health. A recent study shows people with higher levels of optimism had a 35% decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Happy individuals tend to sleep better, exercise more, eat better and refrain from smoking.

Move to the music: Physical activity is linked to lower risk of diseases, stronger bones, and muscles, improved mental health and cognitive function and lower risk of depression. Staying active is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind healthy. Not only can it help you feel, think, sleep and live better, but it also improves overall quality of life.

Rock your recipes: Make time to eat meals together as a family for a chance to connect and decompress. Regular meals at home with family reduce stress, boost self-esteem and make the whole family feel connected.

Stay on Beat with Blood Pressure: Close to half of American adults have high blood pressure. Of those, about 75% don’t have it controlled and many don’t even know they have it. High blood pressure is a leading cause and controllable risk factor for heart disease and stroke and can contribute to worse outcomes for people who contract COVID-19. The best way to know your blood pressure numbers is to have it measured at least once per year by a healthcare professional, regularly monitor it at home with a validated monitor and discuss the numbers with a doctor. For most people, a normal blood pressure should be 120/80 or less.

Keep the Beat! Each year, more than 350,000 EMS-assessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, about 90% of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests do not survive. When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

To treat, beat and prevent heart disease and stroke, both men & women should understand family health history, know their five key personal health numbers to help determine risk and make healthy behavior changes like moving more, eating smart and managing blood pressure.

The American Heart Association will hold its Go Red Luncheon on Thursday, April 7th at the beautiful Westin Resort, Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage Ca. For information visit