Last month, we talked about some simple resolutions that help improve your health. February is National Heart Month, so now is a good time to discuss the serious risks of heart disease.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, 84 million people in the U.S. have cardiovascular disease (CVD). In fact, almost one third of all deaths—or 2,200 of them every day—are caused by cardiovascular disease. These numbers can be sobering, but you don’t have to be a statistic. There are plenty of ways to beat the odds, and diet and exercise top the list.
A New Way of Living
Changing your lifestyle is challenging, but you can do it. It simply means making better choices, one at a time. The more often you make the right choice, the sooner it becomes a habit. Before long, you’ll feel better, and maybe even younger, just by eating better and becoming more active.
For basic good health, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 20 to 30 minutes a day of moderate activity, or at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once; 10 minutes at a time is just fine. Make it fun and stay motivated by finding a friend with similar goals and exercising together.
How to Eat Healthy
Eating right means remembering those early lessons from your mother or your grade school health class, and making nutritious choices from all the food groups. This includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry, fish, and nuts. If you eat red meat, choose leaner cuts, and add fish like salmon, trout, or herring to your diet twice a week to be more fit.
How you cook your food also impacts how healthy the dish is, so consider how your meals are prepared. Avoid fried foods, heavy sauces, and extras like cheese, dressings, and sour cream. Also limit foods with lots of salt or sugar, and read labels so you know what those are.
When you eat out, try not to be tempted by over-sized portions. Since restaurants often offer huge plates, decide at the beginning of your meal to take home a doggie bag so you don’t overdo it. You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll save money by making two meals of one!
An easy way to start eating better is to write down everything you eat, every day. As you do that, take a good look at what you might be able to cut out or when you can make a healthier substitution.
Your team at My Choice wants the best for you and that means living life to the fullest, without disabling cardiovascular disease. Celebrate your successes, forgive yourself if you have an off day, and remember we’re here to support you on your journey to a healthy lifestyle.