The 2 Minute New Year’s Resolution

12/30/2009

 A New Year’s Resolution only takes about 2 minutes to make but then you have a whole year to break it.  This year why not make a REALISTIC healthy resolution you can keep.

You may want to:

  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Eat healthier
  • Exercise more

We all have made resolutions that we don’t stick to – a couple of days, weeks or months go by and we start falling back into some of our bad habits… You may get bored with an exercise routine or diet, get a craving that you cannot resist. Remember it’s okay if you fall off the wagon one day, start again the next day – we are all human.

The important thing is to set realistic goals – if you don’t exercise at all, don’t set a goal of running a marathon start with small steps first.  Even taking a 10 to 15 minute walk everyday can help your cholesterol, blood pressure and weight.  Research studies have proven that walking is one of the best exercises you can do.

If you want to lose weight – where do you start? There are so many different diets out there? Which one is right for you?  Did you know that even eliminating one soda a day from your diet every day could help you lose about 15 pounds in a year?  Try eating more fiber or adding an extra serving of fruits or vegetables to your diet every day.  Fiber can help you control your blood pressure, lose belly fat, improve your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and prevent some cancers.  Recent research has shown that the best way to lose weight is to either eat 500 less calories per day or burn off (exercise) 500 extra calories per day.  It doesn’t matter if you eat less carbs, protein or fat – it all comes down to calories!

Want to stop smoking? This is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Talk to you health care provider, there are a lot of resources out there to help you.  Also talk to your family and friends – this is one of your best support systems.

One of our main goals at Heartstrong is to help people make healthy well-informed decisions that will allow you to live a longer, healthier and hopefully wealthier life.  We offer community seminars to help you and your group get started improving your overall health.  Most People Know What Healthy Habits Are, But Do Not Know How Or Where To Start.  Heartstrong presents health and wellness seminars on a wide variety of topics to corporations, community groups, professional groups and healthcare providers.  Programs can be customized for your groups needs.  Thinking about Healthy New Year’s Resolutions check out our books “Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” and “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthy Heart” available at www.heart-strong.com


The Christmas Coronary – Holiday Heart Attack

12/27/2009

The Holidays are a joyous time to celebrate and spend time with family and friends. But they have also been found to increase the risk for heart problems. Heart related deaths and heart failure hospitalizations rise sharply around the winter holidays.

Several triggers for this increased risk have been reported in recent studies:

• Our normal routine is disrupted – we may be traveling, eating and drinking differently, under more stress and exercising less

• Cold weather can also be a trigger (especially when shoveling snow)

• Depression may be more prevalent – you may be missing a loved one more around the holiday season

For years I have been teaching people about the “5 E’s” these are five things that start with the letter E that can increase your risk for heart problems.

• EATING – heart attacks can be triggered by eating meals with a high fat content or eating heavy meals. Enjoy the holiday meals but remember moderation is key.

 • EXERTION – heart attacks can be triggered by too much exertion (again think about shoveling snow). Bundle up and take frequent rest breaks. Also if you are starting a new exercise routine – slowly increase your activity, don’t overdo it.

 • ELIMINATION – heart attacks can be triggered during straining to have a bowel movement. Remember to eat your fiber and drink plenty of water to avoid constipation.

• EXTREME EMOTIONS – heart attacks can be triggered by extreme emotions such as depression and anger. The holidays can be a stressful time, make sure you are taking time for yourself and your mental well-being.

• EXTREME TEMPERATURE CHANGES – heart attacks can be triggered by temperature changes, such as going out of your warm house out into the cold weather. Remember to bundle up and cover your mouth and nose with a scarf, breathing in the cold air suddenly can put stress on your heart.

So Enjoy the Holiday Season but remember to take care of your health – your heart will thank you for it!  Thinking about Healthy New Year’s Resolutions check out our books “Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” and “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthy Heart” available at www.heart-strong.com


Happy and Healthy Holiday Wishes to All

12/25/2009

Merry Christmas!

 


The Power of the Tomato

12/22/2009

We wanted to tell you about a new website Tomato Products Wellness Council at www.tomatowellness.com. You can download recipes (the Chili Colorado sounds very good – I plan to try this very soon), nutritional information, scientific studies and the latest research findings about processed tomato products.

More than 200 scientific studies have demonstrated the power of tomato products in promoting good health and preventing cardiovascular disease, various forms of cancer, osteoporosis, sun damage while reducing inflammation levels and more.  Processed tomatoes are the number one source for the powerful antioxidant lycopene in the American diet.  Tomato products are healthy, affordable and popular in a variety of cuisines making consuming tomato products one of the easiest and most effective steps you can take to improve your health.  Add more red to your meals with soup, juice, salsa, sauce, paste, ketchup, diced and whole canned tomatoes.

The Tomato Products Wellness Council is a voluntary council of growers, processors and well-known brands that leads the tomato industry effort on scientific research. The Council has identified nearly 500 scientific studies that demonstrate the health benefits of a diet rich in tomato products.

For more heart healthy info visit www.heart-strong.com


2-Minute Wonders: Exercises Even You Can Find Time For

12/18/2009

from HealthyWomen’s e-newsletter, HealthyWomen Take 10

No time to exercise? That’s no longer a good enough excuse for skipping the physical activity we all need. Here are four great exercises you can do in two minutes or less each. Squeeze them in throughout your day:

1. When you’re at the supermarket, get your shopping cart and push it—empty—around the perimeter of the store before you begin shopping. If you’re used to a bit of exercise, wait until the cart is half-full and then push it around the store circuit. And don’t get side-tracked in the bakery section!

2. Use a stability ball to build strength safely while doing squats. Place the ball behind your back, against a wall. With hands on hips, bend your knees slowly, as far as is comfortable, then return to a standing position. (Don’t let your knees move past your toes.) As you do this exercise, the stability ball rolls along with you, making the movement easier. You can do this at home, in the gym or in the office—the stability ball makes a great chair as well and helps you burn a few more calories while you’re seated.

3. Boost your balance by stepping over a small plastic cone, soup can or child’s beach bucket. Stand about 6 inches behind the cone. Lift one leg and step over slowly, transferring weight to the front foot. Then lift the other leg and step over. Step back over the cone the same way, one leg at a time. Repeat 10 times. When this exercise becomes easy, add a side-stepping movement or increase the height of object until it is no more than 12 inches high.

4. If you live in a two-story house or an apartment building with several floors or you work in an office with a stairwell, you have all the equipment you need for a great two-minute workout. Climb those steps! When you do, you burn more calories per minute than when jogging and can get good cardiovascular benefits as well. Make multiple trips up and down at a moderate pace, breathe regularly and be sure to rest if you feel any discomfort. When using an enclosed, public-access staircase, you may want to bring an exercise buddy along for safety and companionship.

For more wellness tips, visit: www.healthywomen.org/ages-and-stages/healthy-living

References

American College of Sports Medicine. “Selecting and Effectively Using Stability Balls.” http://www.acsm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=brochures2&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=8113. Accessed November 10, 2009.

The American Council on Exercise. “Function Follows Fitness.” http://www.acefitness.org/getfit/studies/FunctionFitness.pdf. Accessed November 12, 2009.

Olander EK, Eves FF, Puig-Ribera A. “Promoting Stair Climbing: Stair-Riser Banners are Better Than Posters … Sometimes.” Preventive Medicine. 2008;46(4):308-310.

Teh KC, Aziz AR. “Heart Rate, Oxygen Uptake, and Energy Cost of Ascending and Descending the Stairs.” Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise. 2002;34(4):695-699.

© 2009 HealthyWomen All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from HealthyWomen. 1-877-986-9472 (tollfree). On the Web at: www.HealthyWomen.org.


Some Healthy Holiday Tips

12/15/2009

Well, the Holidays are almost upon us and if you are anything like me…you are thinking about some of those delicious holiday treats and holiday gatherings with family and friends.  Almost every event that you attend over the next several weeks will tempt your will power!!

With all of the holiday hustle and bustle, exercise is often one of the first things to be cut from your busy routine.  But remember even walking as little as 10 minutes a day can have a beneficial effect on your blood sugar, blood pressure, waist-line and cholesterol numbers. How about taking a little walk before company arrives or before you leave for that holiday gathering?  Even 10-15 minutes out enjoying the holiday decorations will rejuvenate you and burn some calories.

Physical activity is not only good for you physically, but it is also good for stress relief.  Here are some holiday/ winter time activities to consider:

 Heart Healthy Activity Tips:

1)    Participate in outings that involve physical activity like skiing, sleigh riding, ice skating and walking.

2)    At the shopping malls park in the furthest spot from the store to increase your walking.

3)    Go window shopping and enjoy the holiday decorations. Take your pedometer with you and count your steps.  Aim for 10,000 steps per day!

4)    Dance at holiday parties.

5)    Schedule exercise/physical activity into your daily routine. Exercise increases your energy level!

6)    Take the dog for a walk and enjoy the holiday decorations in the neighborhood.

7)    Go Christmas caroling (again walking is one of the best exercises).

8)    Cut down your own Christmas tree.

9)    Take the stairs whenever possible instead of elevators and escalators.

Don’t get frustrated if you cheat on your diet or miss some of your exercising this holiday season, remember tomorrow is another day and New Years is just around the corner.  Consider setting a healthy but “realistic” New Years resolution.  Happy Holidays!

Visit www.heart-strong.com for more health and wellness tips.  Looking for a healthy stocking stuffer or small gift for a co-worker, friend or relative check out our two heart healthy books “Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” and “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthy Heart” available at www.heart-strong.com or www.amazon.com


Healthy Holiday Tips

12/12/2009