Today, Sept 29, 2016, is World Heart Day. Cardiovascular Disease is the world’s number one cause of death. Not so cheerful, but there’s so much you can do about it!
- Exercise daily. Getting your kids involved means that they will grow up with healthy heart, body and bones, and the right habits to keep their hearts healthy. Work slowly up to 2.5 hours per week of moderate-level exercise, like brisk walking.A great way to start walking is to get a dog. You’ll never forget it’s time to go for a walk if your pet gets used to it. He or she will remind you quite insistently!You should do some muscle building exercises as well. You don’t have to go to a fancy gym, although if you enjoy that time, you should absolutely spend the money and go! There are plenty of ways to build muscle at home.|
Eat Right. Eat lean meats, including poultry with no skin, fish, nuts, legumes like beans and peas, and lots of fresh vegetables. Avoid saturated fats and trans fats. And keep the sodium low. MagicKitchen.com features lots of low sodium meals in both its A la Carte menu and it’s complete meals offerings.
- Read Labels. Part of eating right is looking at the labels of the items you buy in the grocery store. Make a game of this- look for an item that says, “Lower Sodium!” Or “Low Fat”, then look at the nutritional label. Chances are you’ll find that it’s lower sodium, all right. Lower than it used to be, but still way out of the ball park, and far too high. You’re much better off going with fresh or frozen items than with canned.
- Practice Dental Hygiene. Believe it or not, teeth that aren’t taken care of properly can cause all kinds of health problems down the road, including heart disease! Floss, mouthwash, and frequent dental checkups are a good rule of thumb!
- Don’t Smoke. If you smoke, believe me, I know how hard it is to stop. But there are a ton of ways now to quit smoking that are a lot easier than going cold turkey. There are medicines, quit coaches, and ebooks galore out there.Personally, I used Zyban, almost 20 years ago. Here’s what it did for me: Instead of wanting a cigarette roughly every half hour, I would go four or more hours without even thinking of one. After that, it was will power, but computer games helped with that.
- Avoid Secondhand Smoke. Inhaling second hand smoke is a risk factor for having a heart attack. Most people smoke outside now, but avoid it when it’s there, ad stay healthier!!
- Get Yearly Checkups. Talk to your health care team and get your cholesterol checked, your blood pressure monitored, and control how you eat if you have diabetes or other health issues. Keep on top of it, it’s the only life you have!!
- Lose weight if you need to. I’m one to talk, I’m probably 25 pounds overweight right now. But I know that I’ll get on top of it soon. I use weightwatchers, they teach you how to eat. Don’t use fast weight loss plans.I know a couple who got on the pregnant horse hormone diet. (The HCG diet). They ate a meager 500 calories a day for a few months, and they lost weight fast. But the day afterwards, they were stuffing themselves with chicken wings and french fries.They hadn’t learned anything about how to eat healthy, and they gained it all back almost as quickly as they lost it.Take the time. It didn’t go on in a week, don’t expect to lose it in a week. They say it take 29 days to break a habit. They also say in 25 days or so, you’ll start to feel the difference in your body. So a good rule of thumb is to give your healthy new lifestyle a full month. You can do anything for a month, right?
- Limit Alcohol. Let’s face it, if you’re reading this article, you’re probably over 30, right? It’s time to settle into a more healthy lifestyle, and that means drinking less. A glass of wine with dinner’s fine. A cocktail once in a while is fine. Moderation is the key. ‘ Nuff said.
- Get Enough Sleep. Seven hours a night shouldn’t be too hard. You might have to give up Stephen Colbert, but you can PVR him. Getting a sleep routine down is important, too. You sleep more soundly (important for heart health) if you go to bed and get up about the same times.
Here’s to World Heart Day! Thanks to that organization for their work towards a healthier lifestyle for all of us!
Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger