After all, with all the case studies that have been done on the heart, cardiovascular system, and nutrition, you probably have the core knowledge on what to do. But for our purposes, we’re going to go over some key points again.
The key to getting that heart of yours healthier is, simply by leading a healthier lifestyle! Like we said, this has been talked about for probably the last 50-75 years! If you really look at how far back health was promoted in a society, you only have to take a look at the beginning of the Olympic Games, with the Greeks. After that, the Roman Empire made fitness and health a rule of the day for any young Roman Citizen. Coming full circle to our days, we can take a chapter out of our history books by looking at the early work being done at the Kellogg Sanitarium with both John Kellogg and his brother Will, (founder of Kellogg Cereal Company) The sanitarium proposed a healthy lifestyle with various forms of physical activity, several times a day. It became a very prominent house of wellbeing and during its hey-day had as many as 7,000 patients in the year 1906!
But you don’t need to check yourself into a fitness spa that is unless you want to. All you need to do is make some small, steady changes in your life that will promote you becoming more physically active, which by default will give you a stronger, more efficient heart. The key thing that has to be remembered, is to always check with your physician prior to undertaking any form of physical exercise that goes above and beyond what your body is currently used to performing on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis!
It has been found that “More than half of heart disease is preventable, and studies have shown that 90% of heart attacks in women can be prevented. Further, the latest study in Archives of Internal Medicine shows that women who eat a diet of abundant amounts of veggies, fruits, whole grains, fish, and legumes; That drink moderate amounts of alcohol, (None is Better!), exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and don’t smoke have been shown to have a 92% decreased risk of having a heart attack compared with women with less healthy diets and habits.
Other advantages also come into play! “So many things we can do to help our heart, like quitting smoking, eating more fiber, and moving more, also helps other parts of our body, including our bones, colon, lungs, and skin. This is a win, win solution for you. And one way to help you to commit yourself to a healthier, more active lifestyle is by setting attainable goals for yourself. The easiest thing that anyone can do to be more active is to walk. Yes, just WALK!
Think about it. With today’s society, we are doing more and more sitting every day. Our bodies simply are not getting enough physical activity. Walking more and I mean more every day can help you to help yourself improve not only your heart but also your blood pressure.
If you’re overweight, you can begin to see those pounds start to drop off if you commit yourself to walking at least 30 minutes a day at a brisk pace. When that becomes achievable, increase the distance and increase the time you spend walking that distance, to continuously push yourself to surpass those preset goals.
One way to monitor just how well you’re doing is by using a pedometer, one that counts not only your steps but also calculates the distance you covered and the calories burned. One that can keep track of your data for at least a week, (a month is better), then be able to transmit that data to your computer or smartphone so you can keep accurate records of your accomplishments. And like we said above, once those goals are met, then set new ones to push yourself a bit further! One pedometer that fits the bill perfectly is the Omron Alvita Ultimate Pedometer This pedometer accurately counts your steps, even aerobic steps if you’re walking at a faster pace, your distance, and calories you're burning while you are doing all that walking. Having this data helps to motivate you to do more every day. It uses Tri-Axis technology to count steps even if the device is flat, vertical, or horizontal. This is why it is a pedometer of choice for a lot of people because it conforms to the way you walk.
Before you begin, your "heart-healthy-walk", know your numbers! Make an appointment with your physician to have your HDL or “good” cholesterol, LDL or “bad” cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, weight, and body mass index (BMI) numbers checked. Make sure your physician confirms that you are in proper shape to start exercising to begin that healthier lifestyle!
Key in on your triglycerides: Shoot for a level of 150 or lower. Most people are aware of the good and bad cholesterol, but it is also important to target your triglycerides. They are a better indicator of high risk of diabetes and heart disease
Triglycerides are also much more responsive to lifestyle changes than other types of blood fats. Your triglycerides can drop 30% to 50% just by reducing saturated fats and reducing your weight. And of course by being committed to your new walking regimen!
So you see, by working to gain a healthier heart, you’ve also unlocked the door to help you to be fitter, lower your blood pressure, along with getting your cholesterol in line with where it needs to be!
By doing all of this, along with keeping yourself informed of your progress and state of better health by routinely visiting your doctor, you’re going to end up with having a much lesser chance of having a heart attack, and living a longer, more active life!
After all, isn’t living longer, and being healthy the reason you’re looking at taking care of yourself,,, right?