Its American Heart Month and I feel like I will be telling readers what they already know…We know what NOT to do.
- Don’t Smoke
- Don’t be a Slug…Exercise- 30 minutes at least 5 days per week.
- Don’t eat processed foods that you typically find out of a box.
- Don’t eat too much sugar. Find out how much you eat daily and cut back. Granola bars and smoothies = Lots of sugar!!
- Don’t drink alcohol, or at least make it a rare thing.
- Don’t ignore your weight. If the pounds have been creeping up, do all of the above and get tested for food allergies.
- Don’t be so Stressed out! This is probably the hardest for most of us. Chronic stress leads to high blood pressure (by the way, the new guidelines are to keep blood pressure below 120/80). It also leads to insomnia. When we don’t sleep, we gain weight, raise our risk of diabetes, arteriosclerosis, cancer and dementia. Plus we feel tired, depressed, irritable and people don’t want to be around us. Then you feel isolated which is an independent risk factor of heart disease. It’s a vicious cycle. So find ways to relieve stress. Know that you will survive. It will be OK. Take some deep breaths and stay in the moment. See if you can perceive the situation differently. Are you being triggered from a fearful story from the past that still needs healing? Take a walk…ideally in nature, learn to meditate, do yoga or tai chi. Knit or learn a hobby. And if nothing else…talk to a close friend who will listen, or meet with a therapist and get some perspective. It will add years to your life.