Heart Health Goes Beyond Diet & Exercise
How are you doing with keeping the resolutions we talked about last month? Hope you have stuck with your plan and are seeing good results. Many people resolve to lose weight and, in general, live a more healthy lifestyle. We thought we would take the opportunity in Heart Healthy Month (as designated by the American Heart Association) to explore exactly what can be involved in living such a lifestyle.
According to the American Heart Association’s 2016 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update, one of every three deaths in the U.S. in 2013 was from heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, while heart disease and stroke were the No. 1 and No. 2 killers worldwide. This report highlights why we should pay careful attention to taking care of the organ that literally pumps life through us every second of every day.
When most of us think of “heart healthy lifestyle,” we typically focus on diet and exercise. For sure, these are important to keeping our hearts in good working order. An often overlooked area of concern is that of reducing stress. Stress management can be a daunting task to those of us who are overworked, overbooked and overwraught. Following are some tips for getting your stress level under control (American Heart Association):
- Practice Positive Self-Talk – practiced on a daily basis, this may aid in dealing with typical stress triggers. Example: “I’ll do the best I can” vs “I can’t do this”
- Use Emergency Stress Stoppers – you may want to add these practices to your stress management arsenal (counting to 10, taking 3-5 deep breaths, walk away for the moment, break down big problems in to smaller parts, set your watch ahead 5-10 minutes to avoid being late, drive in the slow lane, smell a rose, hug someone, mediate or pray)
- Engage in Activities that Give Pleasure – hobbies, reading, socializing with others, sports, listening to music, enjoy nature, watch an old movie
- Practice Daily Relaxation – carve out time for activities such as yoga & tai chi or deep breathing
So you see, Hearth Healthy Living doesn’t just happen! This type of lifestyle requiresintention and perseverance. It is our hope that you will take the time this month to intentionally incorporate some of these practices into your precious life.
We care about you!
Cindy & Kandy