While February is Recognized as Heart Health Awareness Month, Paul’s Run Emphasizes a Healthy Lifestyle Year-Round

February 22, 2023

At Paul’s Run retirement community in Northeast Philadelphia, PA, promoting a heart-healthy lifestyle year-round helps residents live a better and happier quality of life. Smart eating and regular exercise are ways they maintain their overall health and well-being.  


Matt Schoel, Wellness and Fitness Director at Paul’s Run, helps residents stay heart-healthy

“Regular aerobic exercise is important to keeping our hearts healthy,” shares Matt Schoel, Wellness and Fitness Center Director at Paul’s Run. “Cycling, dancing, playing a sport, walking – the important thing is to exercise 3-4 days a week.”

“Even if it is too cold to walk outside, residents can stroll indoors doing circular, continuous walking in the hallways and the lobby, often times with friends and neighbors,” he adds. “I encourage them to walk for ten minutes, sit and rest in the lobby, then walk some more.” 

“Other forms of exercise that promote heart health include chair yoga with Brian, the Yoga instructor, at Paul’s Run. His classes involve strength training to improve balance and breathing exercises to open the airways for oxygen and blood flow,” Matt asserts. 

He adds, “Some residents who like more rigorous workouts enjoy participating in exercise classes on Monday mornings at 10:30 a.m. These classes include safe, aerobic exercises that help residents increase upper and lower body strength, mobility and cardiovascular health. In that class, we do stretching arm and leg exercises to warm up, reaching overhead, stretching fingers and then extending arms outstretched in front of us, adding marching in place, lifting our legs, bending at the knee. Then, holding onto the back of a chair to remain secure while developing balance, we move our left leg side to side, repetitiously ten times, then switching to the right leg to do the same. Using a stretchy giant rubber band, we develop strength resistance by holding one end and pulling the other with the opposite arm. Lifting lightweight one or two pound weights, we roll forearms toward our chests, building bicep strength. We sit in a chair and turn our necks from side to side, rolling the neck to loosen tension, relieving stress.”

Matt adds, “There is also a Nu Step Cross Trainer in the Fitness Center which offers accessibility, with low-step through, seated design, and ease of use because it provides a low-impact, full-body cardio, and strength workout to help improve physical fitness across a spectrum of ages, fitness levels and functional abilities. With user-controlled step length, and multiple resistance levels, the NuStep cross trainer allows residents to control their workout and adjust it as they build strength and increase stamina. For those unable to use traditional exercise equipment to get the aerobic exercise they need, the NuStep provides access to safe, full-body cardiovascular and strength training exercises that can be done outside of an exercise class.”

Eating Healthy

Jennifer helps residents maintain a heart-healthy diet

According to Jennifer Lyons, Certified and Registered Dietician and Nutritionist at Paul’s Run, eating a heart-healthy diet is important to manage conditions like hypertension and diabetes. 

“Naturally, everyone likes to cheat occasionally by eating cheeseburgers, pizza, or fried foods,” she says. “But it is wise to consider the kinds of fats one is eating, limit salt and sugar intake, increase fiber, and learn to make substitutions, like using olive oil instead of butter, whenever possible to maintain a healthy diet.”

Jennifer recommends eating a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, chicken, fish, and whole grains while limiting red meat and saturated fats. “There are good fats and bad fats,” she explains. “It is important to offset “bad fats” like butter and cream with “good fats” afforded by avocados, olive oil, or coconut oil.”

Sample Paul’s Run menu

Jennifer works closely with Paul’s Run Culinary Services team members to create healthy menus for residents. “As you can see from the recent Dinner menu, residents in Independent Living have a number of choices. For someone wanting to limit red meat intake, there are other choices such as Cod or Chicken.” 

When asked where residents can look for additional guidance in preparing their own heart-healthy meals, she recommends the American Heart Association website at http://www.heart.org

“People can find recipes to create complete heart-healthy meals,” claims Jennifer. “An example is: start with a mixed green salad made with fresh olive oil dressing (make your own), citrus ginger honey glazed salmon over whole grain rice, a side of sugar snap peas, and an oatmeal cookie for dessert.” 

Jennifer will discuss heart-healthy eating with residents at Paul’s Run on Wednesday, February 22nd, at 1:30 p.m.; on Thursday, Feb. 23rd, Bayada Home Health Care will present an in-depth Heart Health Program at 1:30 p.m. for Paul’s Run residents.

Recipe for Citrus Ginger Honey Glazed Salmon with Whole Grain Rice and Sugar Snap Peas 


Servings 4

1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger (peeled, grated) OR 1 teaspoon dried ginger

1 clove fresh garlic (minced) OR 1 teaspoon jarred, minced garlic 

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon honey

2 tsp fresh or jarred lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)

1 Tbsp fresh basil OR 6-8 leaves chopped 

1 lb boneless, skinless salmon (cut into 4- 4 oz. filets)

1 cup uncooked brown rice

2 cups fresh sugar snap peas

8 lemons (thinly sliced)

aluminum foil 


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine ginger, garlic, vegetable oil, soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, and basil, and add fish. Marinate in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare rice according to the instructions on the package, excluding any salt or oil.
  3. Cut 8 pieces of aluminum foil, wide enough to fit one piece of salmon and 1/2 cup of snap peas.
  4. Remove the fish from the marinade and discard the remaining marinade. Arrange lemon slices on top and bottom of the fish filet. Place one fish filet and half of the snap peas together on one piece of parchment. Cover with another piece of foil and tightly fold together the top and bottom edges of the foil to create a seal for the steaming pouch. Repeat for the second portion. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.
  5. Carefully cut open the pouch and remove the contents. Put salmon and snap season over rice and serve.