It’s right there in the middle of your chest and, at a minimum, you sense its presence everyday and can feel its activity at various pulse points around your body. However, many of us take it, and what it does, for granted until something goes wrong, sorta like a car. But unlike a car, it’s vital to our very existence, and far too many of us take few or no preventative measures to ensure it continues to, well, keep us alive.
Why the hell is that? Over 600,000 people die from heart disease in this country every year. That means one in every four deaths is due to heart disease of some kind! Over 720,000 Americans experience a heart attack every year. Even more staggering, for the most part, all of these deaths and heart attacks are preventable! Yet we still go about our lives, not exercising, still smoking and drinking excessively, eating artery clogging foods, and blithely unaware of important numbers, such as our blood pressure or cholesterol levels.
Do I have your attention yet? I hope so, because that’s the whole point of the American Heart Associations’ designation of February as American heart month, to raise awareness of these issues. However, awareness will not improve your cardiovascular system, only action on your part will, and not just during the shortest month of the year. To improve your heart health, these lifestyle changes must take on the aspect of permanency.
Make the necessary changes to your diet, like reducing or eliminating saturated and trans fats and eating more fruits and vegetables? Yeah, that needs to be a permanent lifestyle change, not just something you do for a month or two. And this one change can have the beneficial effects of reducing your weight and lowering both your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. MagicKitchen.com can help with that, give us a call toll-free at 877-516-2442.
Vow to get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise on at least five days a week? You guessed it…that’s gotta happen almost every week of the year for you to reap the benefits and fend off the grim reaper (sorry, couldn’t resist). We’re not suggesting that you go hike the Pacific Coast Trail here, like that woman did in the hit movie Wild, but a 45 minute walk most days of the week will, like changes to your diet, reduce your weight and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and go a long way to improving your heart health.
Eliminated your use of tobacco products and reduced your alcohol intake? As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, you can’t slide back down that slippery slope and start smoking like a chimney and drinking like you were back in college ever again.
Relax, by making these three changes a permanent part of your lifestyle does not mean you’ve just entered a nunnery or monastery (after all, taking a vow of celibacy would eliminate one pleasurable source of physical activity). You can still eat the occasional dessert or awaken a bit hung-over once in a while, just refrain from doing it after every meal, or awaken that way every morning! Your heart, and your loved ones, will thank you for it!
Steve, MagicKitchen.com blogger