Take Heart…It’s a Heart Healthy Lifestyle! By Bev Filer

healthy heart for allA Healthy Heart is important to enjoy a Heart Healthy Lifestyle for “A Better Way of Life” now and in the Future! Folks at Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort love the opportunities in their dynamic community of family and friends! This article from the February edition of the Ladies’ Home Journal offers some great suggestions for “6 Weeks To A Healthier Heart” By: Alyssa Shaffer ! Take Heart…Lifestyle Ideas for a Healthy Heart are coming your way!

Healthy-heartA Healthy Heart Lifestyle is good for all ages…Especially Women!  You can lower your risk of heart disease, which kills more women than all cancers combined, And  Beat Belly Fat ! Sounds like a Plan for the woman and the man!

The author breaks the Plan down into 6 weeks with a Focus and Action Plan for each week.

Week 1

Curb your Sweet Tooth

sugar sayingEating too much sugar leads to higher Triglycerides (which clog your arteries) & Lower HDL (Good cholesterol that helps protect against heart disease). Dr. Holly Anderson,M.D. director of education @ the Ronald O. Perlman Heart Institute & a member of the LHS Medical Advisory Board states that , “ Sugar is added to almost every kind of processed food.” Dr. Anderson also notes that “Though patients worry more about fat in their diet, there is increasing evidence that reducing sugar may be even more important for your heart health.

Action Plan:

Heart_Grapefruit-skCurb Your Sweet Tooth

  • Cut back on sodas, sweetened tea, fruity drinks, & sugar in coffee…Including artificial sweeteners , which may keep you craving sweets. You could also try to eliminate them.
  • Read food labels!
  • Make simple swaps…Ex: salsa instead of ketchup, plain yogurt with nuts or fresh fruit, quick cooking oatmeal rather than sugary instant.
  • Choose a square of plain dark chocolate instead of a candy bar.
  • Take Vitamin D3 supplement …Also check vitamin D level with your doctor during annual blood test.
  • Note: Dr. Anderson says that your waist is an indicator of heart-disease risk. 34 inches is good goal for women & less than 29 inches is best.heart measurement

 Week 2

Action Plan

heart _exercise with friendsPut on Walking Shoes

  • A Moderate Paced Walk (Enough to make your slightly breathless but not winded) for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, can lower your risk of heart disease by as much as 40%, according to the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study.
  • Recruit a Buddy as a Walking Partner & keep the conversation flowing to catchup while burning calories.
  • One study found that as few as 6,000 steps a day can reduce heart disease precursors like diabetes & metabolic syndrome.

sleep cartoon with sheep sleep-banner-sleepritualWind Down Earlier

Dr. Karol Watson, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine states that, ” There is a tremendously strong connection between sleep and heart disease.” For Healthier Heart…Women should get 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night.

  • 1st Half of the week: Start getting ready about 1/2 hour  earlier than typical bed time. Includes turning off the TV, i Pad, & Phone before winding down.
  • By midweek, downshift another 15 – 30 minutes earlier if you can. Keep  hours consistent , even on weekends.

Week 3

Piles of spicesCut Back on Salt

Action Plan

  • Recommended healthy amount of salt is 2,300 mg a day. Excess salt can raise your blood pressure, which increases your chance of a heart attack or stroke.
  • Stop eating salty foods, and your Taste Buds will Adjust! (Try eating no salt potato chips 7 no-salt popcorn)
  • Season foods with herbs & Spices like: rosemary, thyme, red pepper or curry
  • Use vinegar, citrus zest, or lemon or lime juice for flavor.
  • Eat foods high in Potassium…Bananas, sweet potatoes & healthy-heart-3-300x261Spinach, which can counter the effects of sodium & possibly lower your blood pressure.

healthy-heart-step-pedometer-3-1308-304266Get off Your Butt

  • Get up & move around at least once an hour. Studies show a strong link between prolonged sitting & heart trouble.
  • Cardiologist Martha Gulati, M.D. , an assistant professor of medicine at Ohio State University states “Our bodies were meant to move, not sit for hours at a time.”
  • When you ares sitting, your metabolism slows & your cholesterol, blood sugar & triglycerides all spiral upward. Studies show that regardless of age, body weight or exercise levels, people who spend more time seated die earlier.

 Week 4

Find Some “Me” Time

cardio-exercise-walkingReduce Stress Action Plan

  • Have lunch with Friends
  • Set aside time to Chat on the phone with Family & Friends.
  •  “Mother Nature” Helpers: Take a Walk in the Parks, Woods, & Other Natural Spaces.
  • beach-walkersBrunswick Plantation is close to the Beaches, walking with family & friends on the beach is a good option & very relaxing!
  • While walking in the outdoors…Quiet your mind & Focus on your breathing.
  • Smell the Air, Listen to the Sounds of Nature, & Be In The moment!

wholegrainsphotos.demandstudios.com_getty_article_129_242_89685102_XSRethink Your Grocery List

  • Try 3 New Fruits, Vegetables, or Whole Grains
  • healthy-foodsSuper foods like Blueberries, Brussel Sprouts, & Quinoa have lots of disease-fighting nutrients that help protect the Heart! Plus they are high in Fiber & low on the glycemic index, both of which are strongly linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

 Week 5

Work In Strength Training

heart weightsAction Plan

  • Why Strength Training?  Dr. Bairey Merz States that “Aerobic exercise is great for expending calories & working the Heart, but women also need Muscle Mass.”  Muscle helps produce insulin, which may prevent diabetes. Research also shows that resistance exercise helps increase blood flow to active muscles & creates a longer-lasting drop in blood pressure post-workout.
  • Of course, they gym is an option! However, you can also turn couch time into a workout opportunity by squeezing in strength moves during commercial breaks.
  • Do Bicep Curls, Lunges, Shoulder Presses & Crunches (Aim for 10 to 15 Reps each)
  • Try alternating Jumping Jacks, Marching in Place, Or Step-Ups on a low bench or stairs with Body weight Moves like: Squats, Push-Ups, & Planks. Ina  half Hour, you can burn 275 Calories!

restorative yoga***Restorative  Yoga***  Good for Exercise & Letting Go of Tension!

meatless Monday foodGo Meatless on Monday

  • Why?Vegetarians tend to have healthier hearts than omnivores. A Harvard study found replacing foods rich in saturated fat like red meat with those rich in polyunsaturated fats (Vegetable Oil, Nuts & Seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%.
  • Example: Substitute Black beans for beef or add some chickpeas to your whole grain pasta & spinach.

Week 6

Keep Your Good Habits Going

  • Why? Change happens slowly! Keep up with your Healthy Activity, Good Eating Habits, Stress-Busting Ways
  • Interval-TrainingIncrease intensity during at least one of your workouts by doing Interval Training. Ex: If you are walking, add an intense 1 minute jog every 10 minutes. Research has shown that even patients with cardiovascular disease have significant improvement when they do interval training.
  • Keep track of your activity and eating by using: writing in a notebook, using an APP like MyFitnessPal, LoseIt Or SparkPeople.

health-cholesterol-check-up-is-your-medication-workingMake An Appointment for a Checkup

  • Why? Knowledge is Power! Knowing your Key Numbers like your 1. Cholesterol 2. Blood Pressure & 3. Glucose Levels will help guide you in Health Plans specific for your needs.

heart-health-is-wealth-apple-icon-royalty-free-vector-illustrationHow about this 6 Week Plan to start you on your way to a Healthier Heart? You may already be doing some of them, but every little bit helps keep us healthier for an Active Lifestyle! Everyone at Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort loves that! Everyone knows that “Health is Wealth”! We know we just increase our Wealth by being Heart Healthy! Your Heart will Thank You!heart thankyou_heart

 

Credits to 6 Weeks To A Healthier Heart by Alyssa Shaffer in the February 2014 Edition of the Ladies Home Journal

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