Help your heart help you
From Spotlight on Health - Winter 2009
There is no foolproof measure that can prevent all
heart-related problems. However, you can
reduce your risk by making positive lifestyle
choices. Eat right; exercise; reduce stress
or learn healthy ways to cope with it.
THE KEY TO FITNESS
Get started. You quickly will feel as though you need to workout
1. Find your gym. To maintain high-quality workouts, you must have
a place to perform muscle-building exercises and increase your
cardiovascular endurance. Your gym can be your living room or
basement, which won’t cost a penny.
2. Know your limits and try to improve. Start slowly and build a strong
base. Keep a journal of your goals and achievements. Reward yourself.
Have a day at the spa or get a ticket to see your favorite sports team.
Consult a personal trainer if you lack experience.
3. Walking for just 30 minutes a day can lead to a healthier heart. A
healthy heart leads to living longer, which should enable you to see
your grandson or granddaughter get married and start a family.
THE KEY TO BETTER NUTRITION
Read the labels! Would you put diesel fuel into a Ferrari? No. So, stop
treating your body like it doesn’t matter what you eat.
1. Cut trans fat completely out of your diet. Trans fat clogs arteries faster
than any other fatty substance.
2. Reduce your intake of saturated fats and replace with naturally
occurring healthy fats that are found in nuts and certain fruits.
3. Go easy on the salt. Heavy salt use increases your chance of having
high blood pressure. You can decrease your risk of heart attack by
25 percent if you consume fewer than 2,300 mg of sodium a day.
THE KEY TO BETTER STRESS MANAGEMENT
Identify your stressors. Eliminate or minimize them.
1. Your heart doesn’t like it when you are angry. Stress and panic attacks
release hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, which can lead to heart
problems. Take a deep breath and work toward a solution.
2. Try that yoga thing. Yoga, tai chi and meditation are all good ways of
easing emotional problems. Find your emotional release.Walking,
weightlifting and reading can help.
3. Stop smoking. People tend to smoke or start smoking when dealing with
problems related to relationships, work or a life-changing event. If you
smoke, you have twice the risk of a heart attack of a non-smoker.