When it comes to looking at ways to live healthier (especially heart healthier) lifestyles, proper diet, exercise, and no smoking are no-brainers. But you would surprised how certain life situations and variables that we have come to accept as routine parts of our lives can have a negative effect on our hearts.
First, as a whole we just don't exercise enough. Whether it is because we are too busy, or too tired, exercise seems to be the first to suffer. I know this, because on occasion I get lazy too!! Exercise is a key component to a healthier heart and even a regular walk at a brisk pace can provide health, and weight-loss, benefits.
Second, we are forgetting about our fruits-and-veggies. five servings of nutrient-rich fruits and veggies in your daily diet has been shown to slash a person's blood pressure by 11 points, plus cut your risk of a heart attack, stroke, and even cancer by up to 30 percent. If you are having trouble getting your five-a-day, just eight ounces of fruit juice at breakfast, and eight ounces of vegetable juice at both lunch and supper can effortlessly add three servings of produce to your daily diet.
Third, as a society we complain too much and super-size our daily stress. Discontentment can up your risk of serious health conditions like cancer and heart disease so dramatically that it can knock 12 years off your life and anxiety overload is so damaging to the heart and immune system, that it can up your risk of heart disease and cancer 25 percent. Start appreciating the little things and pleasures from daily life, and set aside at least 30 minutes each day to de-stress.
Fourth, make sure to get enough sleep. Lack of sleep doesn't just make you miserable, it can actually knock ten years off your life by doubling your risk of infections, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease. If you are having a hard time falling asleep, eat a high-carb snack right before bedtime which will bring about drowsiness by increasing the production of serotonin.
Lastly, weather it is out of sadness, boredom, or anxiety almost half of Americans regularly eat for the wrong reasons and 129 million of us are overweight as a result, according to a recent survey from the American Obesity Association. Plus, weighing even 10 percent more than you should raises your risk of breast and colon cancer, arthritis, diabetes and high cholesterol.
Published On: March 03, 2011