Dr. Vivian Torio
Written by Edward Smith
For much of the pandemic, health has taken center stage in prioritizing individuals lives and livelihood. Covid-19 brought renewed concern about respiratory issues, as well as a heightened awareness about mental health.
Through all of this, some of us have taken our hearts for granted.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 659,000 people in the US die from heart disease each year. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, costing the health care system more than $200 billion annually, not to mention an estimated $147 billion in annual lost job productivity.
According to Kaiser Permanente Osteopath Dr. Vivian Torio, improving your heart health may not be as problematic or difficult as many fear.
“I knew when I left for undergrad in medical school that there was such a need for doctors, especially where I came from in Tranquility,” Torio said, reminiscing on her decision to return to the Valley to practice medicine. “We had to drive 30 minutes for our family doctor.”
For many Americans, doctor availability and convenience is one factor that leads to neglecting physical health.
However, it’s not the only factor leading to this problem.
“The Central Valley, just culturally, we gather and celebrate around food,” Torio said. “I would say the biggest concerning trend in the Central Valley is obesity.”
Torio has advice for keeping a healthy heart: stay active. She suggests to her patients looking to live a healthy lifestyle to look for options online.
“Peloton is huge,” she said, also commenting that Fitbit is also extremely helpful. “Fitbits have been amazing. I think it’s super motivating because they can see the results immediately.”
The options don’t have to be a drain on the wallet either.
Torio also praised the benefit of YouTube workout routines, and other cost-effective means of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“There’s so much access online to workout routines that you don’t have to pay for.”
And when all else fails, just take baby steps.
“Someone who’s starting, I just advise them: just move more today than you did yesterday,” Torio said. “I find that two days a week of exercise is a burden, but if you go to three or more, it’s a routine.”
With heart disease being the unspoken pandemic still gripping the country, Torio’s advice is simple: “Just keep moving. Move more today than you did yesterday. It’ll start to motivate you and hopefully keep that heart healthy.”