WE’VE ALL HEARD about the seven things you can do to keep healthy and prevent heart disease. (If you haven’t already, then don’t worry, because you’re about to.) They are listed as follows: Eat a heart-healthy diet, be active every day, avoid tobacco use, keep a healthy weight, keep your blood pressure healthy, keep your total cholesterol healthy, and keep your blood sugar healthy.
Those seven “simple” things, however, I’m afraid, are easier said than done for a lot of people. Most of us (me included) get so tied up with our daily schedules and to-do lists that we barely have enough time to walk away from the computer, much less get in 30 minutes of exercise.
But there has to be something we can do — in the midst of all the other items on our to-do list — that will help us in our efforts to keep heart disease at bay, right? Here’s a few baby steps that I’ve found have helped me on the path to better health in the midst of a busy schedule.
1. Find something you love that will keep you active. For me and my family, it’s all things water. We love to go boating, canoeing, walk along the shore — you name it, we love it, and it keeps our bodies moving. If it’s something you really enjoy, and it’s not a chore or a “workout,” then you’re more likely to actually make time for it on a regular basis.
2. Cut back on caffeine and sugary drinks. It’s easy to have an extra cup of coffee in the morning, and then at lunch order a refill of sweet tea to go. But you know what, it’s just as easy to stick to one cup of coffee, and swap that tea for water. This truly simple step has helped eliminate a lot of unwanted calories from my diet.
3. Reduce stress, and “don’t let it steal your joy.” In the office, this is a simple reminder for when the computer is going too slow, when a file won’t open, or just in general when you’re having one of “those days.” It’s a funny quip, but in reality it’s a reminder to not sweat the small stuff. Over time, stress over little things can build up and affect your health, and that’s not good for you, or anyone around you.
Tackle these baby steps first, and you’ll be on your way to mastering those seven heart disease preventive measures. We hope you enjoy the Heart Hero edition, and thanks for reading Central Florida Health News!
column by NELSON KIRKLAND
Nelson Kirkland is publisher of Central Florida Health News. He may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted January 22, 2016