Archive for the ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ Category

The “Spring into Your Step” Workout by Chris Varano

Now that Spring has finally arrived, it’s time to take your workout outdoors! Join Fitness Coach, Chris Varano for a fun workout that will definitely put some spring back into your step and get you out of those winter blues.

Lower Body Moves:

1. Stair Step Ups

2. Calf Raises

3. Side Squats

Upper Body Move:

4. Push Ups

Check out the video to see each move in motion!

 

The Secret to Everyday Happiness

The Secret to Happiness

In honor of the International Day of Happiness, I thought I would share my much coveted secret to happiness. You see, I am undoubtedly one of the happiest people I know. The only possible exception is my Hilton Head Health trainer, David Chesworth. He may match my happiness but his propensity to exceed it is just dysfunctional if you ask me.

david lisette e1427143337687 292x300 The Secret to Everyday Happiness

It may sound rather braggadocios in declaring my superior happiness but the great thing about being happy is that you don’t let naysayers steal your happiness with jealousy or judgments. Happiness is a gift that should be protected with fierce conviction. It is a virtual force-field that shields you from the dark-side – the happiness thieves.

A much dismissed fact about happiness is that it’s a choice. Hearing that syrupy saying, “See the glass as half full instead of half empty” can cause an involuntary twitch. However, the deeper meaning behind that trite adage is that happiness is almost always an option. Most moments and life events give us an opportunity to choose a perspective that leads to happiness and optimism. Let’s test this theory. When you wake up this Friday make the decision to BE happy. Set your sights on happiness. Later that day take a moment to reflect on your success. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that at day’s end you will still be happy.

Inherent in most decisions we make is the end-goal of more happiness. We choose a certain job because we think it will make us happy. We choose a home or hometown because we think living there will make us happy. We choose a companion because we believe being with them will make us happy. We exercise and eat nutritiously because we believe doing so will lead to being healthier, and well, happier. In other words, we put a great deal of work into securing our happiness. We invest a lot of our time, money and effort in the pursuit of happiness. Want to know a secret? I’ve discovered a great short cut.

I’ve discovered a back-road, or alleyway, that gets you to happiness lickety-split. It takes hardly any time, costs nothing, and is super easy. My secret to cost-effective, effortless happiness is gratitude. Not just normal, run-of-the-mill gratitude but rather purposeful, decisive cultivation of gratitude. Gratitude is the force behind the happiness force field.

Some might say that happiness and gratitude are inseparable. Although there is truth in that conclusion, there are times when happiness feels illusive. Gratitude, on the other hand, is always available to you. All we have to do is look inward, recalling some of our most joyful memories. Acknowledging the people that have brought great love and learning to our life. All we have to do is take a single moment to reflect on some of our many blessings, most of which we take for granted.

Happiness doesn’t really have to be achieved. It just needs to be relived and we do that by counting our blessings. Our blessings are abundant…fresh fruit, clean drinking water, community, a puppy kiss, fragrant breezes, belly laughs, a helpful friend, a good night sleep and the list goes on and on.

The secret to my happiness can be summarized in one sentence: Happiness is a choice that begins by cultivating gratitude. When we experience gratitude happiness rises to the surface of our hearts and in that moment we are abundant.

 

What Does it Take to Make Your Skin Fit & Firm?

by Celeste Hilling, Health & Beauty Expert and CEO of Skin Authority 
 

DSC 3140 300x199 What Does it Take to Make Your Skin Fit & Firm?

With the amazing programming at Hilton Head Health encouraging you to live well and lose well, the theme of  “transformation continues” in The Indigo spa where the Skin Authority team has designed the Fit & Firm facial series to focus on helping you achieve your full skin health potential. Most importantly, it is about designing a simple daily product routine which fits your unique needs and home lifestyle. Just as a commitment to a daily workout routine and nutrition choices can transform your body, a commitment to the daily skin health product routine can transform your skin. Each Fit and Firm facial incorporates three key areas of focus: skin cardio, strength training and topical nutrition.

  • Skin Cardio speeds up cell turnover so dry, damaged or discolored cells are revolving off while plump, moist, new cells are being brought to the surface for a clear, healthy glow.
  • Strength training combines the power of specialized proteins and Vitamin D to build a stronger support structure for the skin. This step encourages the development of collagen and elastin which are nature’s fillers for a lifted, firm appearance and line reduction.
  • Finally, your daily dose of topical nutrition is applied. Just as balanced nutrition is important to boosting your immune health, topical antioxidants are important to protect and nurture the new, fit cells we are producing daily. Less than 1% of the nutrition we ingest ever makes it way to the skin, so it is critical to give the skin its daily dose topically!

The transformation is visible immediately as your skin feels tighter, firmer and smooth to the touch. Your coach will assemble an easy-to-follow home product routine which will keep the results going between treatments. Some fun facts to keep in mind for a healthy skin lifestyle:

  1. Simplify – Having a problem sticking to a routine? Consistency is key. Simplify to no more than three to four steps in the morning and at night. In the morning, you need a mild gel cleanser, an anti-oxidant such as Vitamin C and a sunscreen moisturizer. Before going to bed, use resurfacing ingredients such as AHAs and retinols in addition to restorative peptides.
  2. Shop smarter – Shop for skin care the way you shop for food, by looking at the cost per ounce. Cheaper is not always what it appears. A product may be priced at $19.99, but it is .2 of an ounce, so the actual cost is $100 per ounce. For $100, you should be receiving professional grade results! Instead, invest in complimentary consultations with licensed experts, like those found at The Indigo Spa to select products ideal for your concerns with professional-grade ingredients.
  3. Concentrate on Concentrations – Take a look at the active ingredients and ensure that any treatment product has a pH below four. The human skin ranges from 4.5-5.5 pH. A product should be below the pH level of the skin for maximum penetration. Otherwise, you might as well be using water!

 

6 Benefits of Strength Training

If you’ve never thought about adding strength training to your fitness regimen before, these 6 benefits might make you change your mind. No matter what age you are, male or female, we recommend strength training along with cardio exercises to help get you the best results from your weekly workouts.

HiltonHeadHealth exercise  13 300x300 6 Benefits of Strength Training

Why Should I Strength Train?

1)     Increases metabolism

Unlike cardiovascular training, weight training allows you to burn calories even after you’ve finished your workout.  Many studies show that the metabolism can stay elevated up to 39 hours post-workout.  Additionally, it has been discovered that each pound of muscle burns 6 calories at rest, as compared to only 2 calories at rest burned by each pound of fat.  Therefore, as you continue to strength train regularly and begin gaining muscle mass, your caloric burn at rest will also increase, thus fueling your weight loss goals even more!

2)     Increases bone density

As our bodies age, our bone density levels begin to decrease, making us more susceptible to osteoporosis, arthritis, posture problems, or even just injuries through everyday activities.  However, weight bearing exercises can counter these aging effects by helping to increase our bone density – making our bodies stronger and more resilient.

3)     Improves balance and stability

As you increase the strength that your body has, particularly in terms of core strength, your sense of balance and stability will improve greatly.  This will not only allow you to expand the variety of exercises you can perform in a gym setting, but it will also allows you to move more efficiently and safely in everyday activities that require these skills, therefore making you less likely to get injured.

4)     Improves the longevity of vital organs

The lungs are greatly benefited by strength training, as this activity helps us improve our lung capacity and the efficiency of which we take in and expel air.  Let’s not forget the most important muscle in the body beyond the ones we train in the gym – our heart!  As the muscles in our arms, legs, and abdomen get stronger with strength training, so does our heart.  As you get more fit through strength training, your resting heart rate will begin to decrease to a much slower rate.  This is a direct reflection of the heart beginning to pump blood more efficiently by conserving its energy since it does not need to work as hard to maintain a fit individual’s body functions.  The other benefit to a healthier, more efficient heart is decreased blood pressure.  This means that opting to strength train is especially beneficial for people who suffer from hypertension, or who are simply prone to high blood pressure, or who have a family history of high blood pressure and are more at risk.

5)     Turns back the clock 

Well, ok, maybe not entirely.  But strength training is absolutely vital at any age to keep us as young in both body and mind as possible.  For instance, individuals in their teens, 20’s, and even early 30’s can use strength training as an early defense against the onset of various physical conditions, such as: arthritis, osteoporosis and heart disease.  They also can use strength training at an early age to supercharge their metabolism to keep their body in the state of maintaining fitness as they age.  For individuals in their late 30’s and early to mid 40’s, strength training serves as a preventative measure against loss of muscle mass and bone density.

In fact, it is said that the average person will lose about 1/3 of a pound of muscle per year after age 30, and will gain the equivalent amount in fat. 

Therefore, at this age people can keep their bodies younger longer by incorporating strength training, which will reduce the transfer of muscle to fat.  Finally, after the age of 50, strength training can help you turn back the clock by giving you better posture, making you more limber, more agile, and look leaner.  Strength training at any age helps to protect against injury, but at an older age strength training becomes more critical to keep an individual safe in their everyday activities. This allows them to stay independent longer and enjoy a more active lifestyle until a much later age than an inactive individual would.

6)     Improves your quality of life

This is perhaps the most important reason of all to consider adding strength training to your routine.  When we have muscular strength and endurance, our bodies become stronger, leaner, and healthier; our movements become more efficient, and our posture/body awareness improve vastly.  With all of this, it becomes much easier to perform basic everyday movements like: getting in and out of our cars, climbing stairs, carrying heavy groceries, lifting objects overhead, and turning around without sustaining injury!  Simply stated, strength training regularly can result in a much longer, more active and enjoyable life.

 

Colon Cancer Awareness Workout by John Lippett

Dress in Blue Day

Today, we’re working out in blue to promote Colon Cancer Awareness. Colon cancer is cancer of the large instestine or colon, located in the lower region of your digestive system. Colon cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., according to the Colon Cancer Alliance. Ninety percent of new cases happen in people age 50 or older. But older age is only one of the risk factors for colon cancer.

What are other colon cancer risk factors?

Most of the factors we’ve listed are preventable, especially a sedentary lifestyle. If you’ve been to Hilton Head Health, you know we encourage our Guests and staff to get up and get moving. So to help you decrease your risk for colon cancer, we want to get you moving with this awesome workout. Check it out:

Workout recap:

  • Man makers
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Jack-Knives
  • Bridge

Perform 30 seconds each exercise with 2 minutes of cardio after the 1st round. In total, complete 3-5 rounds for a rewarding workout.

Stay happy and healthy!

 

How to Pack Your Own Lunch, Like a Champ

At 5 am my alarm goes off. Up and at it I go. Goal one: Put in my contacts. Goal two: Grab all of my belongings for the day and head to my 6 am workout. I have definitely forgotten my fair share of essential items for the day (e.g., you can ask a few of Hilton Head Health’s employees, ha); but one thing I will never forget is my packed lunch. I always bring my lunch box/cooler filled with breakfast, lunch and a few ice packs. After my workout, I have my breakfast within the hour post-training. I wish I could do a hot breakfast every now and then, but I save those for weekends. My two typical breakfast options:

BREAKFAST ONE BREAKFAST TWO
  • ¾ cup 1-2% cottage cheese or Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup fresh berries (whatever is on sale)
  • ¼ cup nuts (cashews, pecans, or almonds)
  • 2-3 T. toasted oats or low sugar granola
  • 1 cup cooked cereal (oats or buckwheat) or ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup mango + ¼ cup blueberries
  • 2 T. homemade nut butter (almond or cashew)

Meal Planning Tip:  I portion out 3-4 breakfasts on Sunday.  Grab & Go daily.

 

DSC 3168 300x300 How to Pack Your Own Lunch, Like a Champ

My work day begins and soon enough it is 12 or 12:30 pm and I am ready for some lunch. I typically take a thermal walk after lunch or get in a walk before I eat to clear my head. Chef Karla Williams and Chef Carrie know the drill…I take my cooler to the Healthy Kitchen and I typically sit in one of my favorite H3 rooms while they are prepping for an event.  It is like my own personal demo while I reheat my lunch. I am thankful I prepared most of my lunches on Sunday, just like breakfast. I can’t imagine hitting the 12:00 hour five days a week and not knowing what I was doing for my food.  It is too important for me to forget.  No one “forgets” to eat…it simply isn’t a priority in that person’s life at the moment. Below are a few lunches that are easy to meal prep on Sunday while tasting delicious a few days later. I usually repeat these lunch items a few days in a row for meal prepping purposes and will most likely switch things up once or twice during my Monday through Friday.

WEEK ONE WEEK TWO WEEK THREE WEEK FOUR
  • ½ cup cooked whole grain (rice, farro, etc.)
  • ¾ cup cooked roasted eggplant and onions
  • 4-5 oz. coconut slow cooker pulled chicken
  • ¾ cup roasted sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts
  • 4-5 oz. herb grilled pork tenderloin
  • ½ cooked cilantro brown rice
  • 1 cup stir-fried peppers and onions (seasoned)
  • ¼ cup black beans
  • 3 oz. grilled chicken
  • 3-5 cups spinach
  • ¼ cup blueberries, cherry tomatoes, avocado
  • 2 T. sunflower seeds
  • 4 oz. Salmon (from night before)
  • 2 T. homemade dressing

To some, these lunches may appear more like traditional dinners; however, it is essential to have a balanced and satisfying mid-day meal. These meals carry me through most of my afternoon and I know I have done everything possible to set myself up for success. Put in the effort to create a lunch that you enjoy and I promise everyone will start coming to you for daily lunch inspiration. icon wink How to Pack Your Own Lunch, Like a Champ

 

The Beginners Guide to Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy – What is it?

Hydrotherapy involves the use of various properties of water to promote physical and mental therapeutic effects.  Done primarily in warmer water (ideally in temperatures ranging from 93-98 degrees), the temperature combined with water properties is intended to allow neural and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, as well as enhanced flexibility, balance, and coordination, which can easily be transferred to land-based exercise.

DSC33061 300x300 The Beginners Guide to Hydrotherapy

Benefits of Hydrotherapy:

  1. Increase in efficiency of total body circulation and decreases in swelling, particularly of distal joints (less issues with extremities, such as in osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis)
  2. Softens and relaxes the body, which promotes pain relief
  3. Reduces tendency for muscle spasms
  4. Increases range of motion through the joints (allows them to work through fluid movements, as opposed to jerky or abrupt and uncontrolled movements as tend to happen on land)
  5. Muscular strength and endurance
  6. Improved balance and coordination, particularly beneficial for the active older adult (as falls lead to so many serious or even potentially fatal injuries)
  7. Re-education of damaged or paralyzed muscles (as in after surgeries and/or joint replacements)
  8. Found to improve conditions such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological afflictions

Properties of Water that Promote Safety/Effectiveness:

  • Buoyancy: lessened effects of gravity means less impact on the joints, particularly the knees, hips, and spine (axial load) which makes many land-based exercises doable for those who can only exercise in water. Buoyancy also allows for more reaction time so that some exercises which are difficult to do on land because they require fast actions are more doable in the water (i.e. jumping motions, lifting the legs, or even performing some stretches where it can be difficult to maintain the balance and coordination)
  • Viscosity: provides natural resistance through gentle friction against the body (about 15x more in water than on land) which conditions and strengthens the body and repairs injuries
  • Hydrostatic Pressure:  keep heart rate slightly lower than it would be on land proportionate to the work output, which means you can exert more effort without feeling as winded as quickly – this property also lends itself to improve heart and lung function.

Contraindications:

  • Prominent inflammation (clearly visible, redness and heat are present)
  • Fever (previously heightened core temperature is not advised for hydrotherapy)
  • Heart disease/hypertension/vascular conditions (increased blood flow and/or circulation is not advised for these populations)
  • Cancer
  • Hemorrhages/infections/open wounds
  • Osteoporosis – This population is not necessarily a contraindication as they DO benefit from hydrotherapy, however they also do need true weight-bearing training in order to improve bone density and reduce risk of fracturing or breaking a bone.

Customization of Intensity:

  • Hydrotherapy can be approached as simplistically as floating in the water to benefit from increased temperature and relaxation properties.
  • Intensify your experience with some static and dynamic stretching in the water.
  • Intensify further with some dynamic movement including squats, lunges, kicks from the wall, water walking or even light jogging and other aerobics movements.
  • Increase speed, duration and range of motion as other methods of intensifying the work or increase turbulence in the water to challenge balance and stability.
  • Add objects such as floatation devices or water weights to enhance resistance and increase surface area.

Hydrotherapy Exercises:

  1. Standing lunge stretch (shallower water if possible)
  2. Standing calf stretch
  3. Standing hip flexor stretch
  4. Quad stretch (one hand against wall)
  5. “Floating” full body stretch (both hands on wall, outstretched and core musculature engaged)
  6. Knee-to-chest exercise (one hand on wall, leg outstretched to front, draw knee in and extend)
  7. Leg raise exercise (one hand on wall, leg outstretched to front, pulse leg up and down)
  8. Reverse leg raise exercise (one hand on wall, leg outstretched behind, pulse leg up and down)
  9. Pool walking exercise (versions include arms out, arms to front, feet directly in front of one another, calf raise, backwards walking, arm circles, forward kicks, hamstring curls, breaststroke arms, etc.)
  10. Quadruped floating exercise (lying supine with engaged core, paddle arms and feet simultaneously)
  11. Floating char exercise (seated in chair position with levitated legs, use arms to keep balance)
  12. Any other low impact aerobic move you enjoy!

 

 

I had an Eating Disorder, then I Received a Rose

It’s 2015 and I am 30 years old. I am 5’ 8’’ wearing shoes and I weigh 131 lbs. I am a size 2 at Banana Republic and a size 6 at Lululemon. In 2004, I was 18 going on 19 years old. My height was the same as today. I weighed as little as 110 lbs and tested at 9.9% body fat. I was a size 0 or extra small—a size 6 would have been extremely baggy. I was entering my first season as a Division I collegiate soccer player and I had an eating disorder.

Why it started?

It began with a speech from a high school track coach discussing leaning up for endurance sports. I internalized this talk as “time to cut out the fat from my diet.”  Skipping my favorite ice cream in the world, Greaters, turned into eliminating oils, fatty meats, peanut butter and cheese from my diet. At that point,I thought dietary fat would literally make me fat and anything containing what I considered too much fat would give me anxiety. Not too many people knew what was going on until I started dropping the weight.

My parents saw me at my first pre-season soccer game and took me home, ASAP. My heart rate lying down was 47 and 60 seconds later I stood up and my heart rate jumped to 88. According to my doctor, my heart had atrophied (my heart had to work too hard just standing) and I was officially told to stop playing soccer until I could get up to 120 lbs. I was frail, weak and completely unhealthy. I was losing my hair and I was always freezing. My energy levels went up and down. I started seeing two different Dietitians and I had weekly weigh-ins with a doctor on campus. I would drink 2 bottles of water before weigh-ins because I knew I hadn’t done what I was told to do. I knew I didn’t look good, but I wasn’t mentally strong enough to comply with what was necessary for my health. Of course I was seeing a counselor on a regular basis, but something wasn’t clicking. I felt completely out of control, yet I still controlled everything.

How I gained back control.

My teammates were amazing. They kept me strong and full of hope. They invited me to church and I went. They invited me to Athletes in Action, a campus ministry targeting collegiate athletes, and I joined them.  At this point in my life, any genuine support felt amazing. Later on in the school year, I signed up for a summer camp conducted by Athletes in Action that would change my life forever. One of the seminars was a female-only seminar. I walked into the room and everyone received a red rose with the same bible verse, “Let the King be enthralled by your beauty; Honor Him for He is your Lord.” Psalm 45:11.

Boom. This struck a chord with me. It felt like a stack of bricks being lifted off my chest and I finally had a taste of what recovery could feel like—a feeling of freedom with the loss of shame and guilt. I learned a lot in the seminar and since then I have slowly grown to better understand and appreciate that verse. I had to give it all to God and lay down my struggles. I was able to replace my eating disorder with a passion for nutrition and helping those that battle with their weight.

Guess what I continue to learn….no one… I mean NO ONE should define themselves by their weight.

No one is defined by their sport. No one is defined by being a regionals contender or being the best athlete in the gym. No one is defined by an idealistic family of two kids, a perfect house and perfect job. It goes much deeper than that and it comes from a place much higher yet 100% by your side when you don’t even realize it. The rose was more than a rose. It was a symbol that I was enough. It was a symbol of God’s perfect love.

During the holidays, it’s easy to get wrapped up into what the next year will bring.  New Year’s resolutions are made and we often strive for something that is either unrealistic or we hope for something within an unrealistic time frame. Instead of figuring out how much weight you want to lose in January or how much you want to squat by March, ask yourself what defines you and how will you let that flow through your life. I realize this is a very open and honest blog post, but I felt it was necessary during this time of the year. Tis the season for lots of roses.

Small Red Rose1 300x224 I had an Eating Disorder, then I Received a Rose

 

Heart Healthy Snack Ideas

As Heart Health Month comes to a close, the H3 Healthy Kitchen wants to remind you that your pursuit for a healtier heart shouldn’t end with February. Keep up with your heart healthy lifestyle by staying active and eating healthy foods. Speaking of food, we have 2 easy and yummy snack ideas to help you continue eating healthy for your heart.

1. Green Pea Guacamole - Yes, we said green pea! No, it doesn’t actually taste like peas. It’s only 70 calories a serving and it’s delicious with fresh baked pita chips.

DSC 3119 300x300 Heart Healthy Snack Ideas

2. Peanut Butter Hummus – An H3 staple, this is a versatile snack also serves as a healthy dessert option. Dip apples, bananas, or whatever fruit you choose into this delicious creation for a sweet treat. If you have some mini chocolate chips on hand, try making our Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Hummus!

DSC 3110 300x300 Heart Healthy Snack Ideas

 

We hope you enjoy these recipes, they’re definitely 2 of our favorites! What is your favorite healthy snack?

 

5 Facts about Heart Disease

With February being National Heart Month, this is the perfect time to commit to taking better care of ourselves. Here are 5 facts you should know about heart disease and disease prevention.

1. Heart disease and strokes are not just disease of the elderly.

Most of you probably know that  cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death in both men and women in the U.S., with heart disease and stroke being the 2 top killers, representing 1/3 of all deaths. But what might surprise you is that more than 200,000 of those deaths per year could be prevented and that 60% of those preventable deaths occur in people under the age of 65.  While there is an impression that CVDs and stroke are diseases that affect only the elderly, the reality is that those diseases are taking the lives and affecting the quality of life of relatively young adults.

Music Cardio1 5 Facts about Heart Disease

2. Thousands of lives could be saved if people recognized the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke and were treated promptly.

The classic “movie heart attack” shows a man clutching  his chest in pain and dropping on the floor, leaving little doubt that he is having a heart attack. And while that does happen in some heart attacks, in most cases the symptoms are not that clear and they are often different for men and women.

Symptoms in Men -

  • Chest pain, tightness, pressure or discomfort
  • Pain or discomfort in the neck, jaw, back, shoulders or arms
  • Feeling weak, light headedness, or faint
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms in Women –

  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual weakness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Cold sweats
  • Anxiety

If you think you may be having a heart attack or think you may be witnessing one, act fast and call 911 immediately. There are medications available, the so-called  “clot busters”; if administered with within the appropriate time frame, they can minimize, if not prevent serious damage.

Those same medications are effective for strokes as well. If they are administered within 3 hours of the onset of stroke symptoms, there is a 75% better chance of having no significant disability 3 – 6 months after the stroke. Think of the acronym FAST to spot a stroke:

F- Face drooping

A- Arm weakness

S- Speech difficulty

T- Time to call 911

To help you spot a stroke using FAST, watch this video from Lafayette General Hospital.

3. You can reduce the risk of heart attacks by 80% following 4 healthy habits. Even small changes in these behaviors translate in significant risk reduction.

  • Regular physical activity. Moving  from being inactive to moderately active ( for example, walking 30 minutes a day 5 days a week) lowers  the risk by 50%.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. For those who are overweight or obese, losing as little as 3% of their body weight (200 lb person loses 6 lbs) results in “clinically meaningful” risk reduction.
  • Following a healthy diet. Women in the Nurses’ Health Study who consumed 3 half-cup servings of mixed blueberries and strawberries lowered their risk of a heart attack by 34%.
  • Not Smoking. Within 20 minutes of quitting, heart rate and blood pressure drop  to normal levels; within 2 weeks, circulation improves and within 1 year, the risk of dying from heart disease drops by 50%.

no smoking sign1 300x300 5 Facts about Heart Disease

4. It is never too late to get benefits from improving your health habits.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found men and women aged 45 – 64 who changed their lifestyle to meet recommendations regarding the  behaviors mentioned above, lowered their risk of a heart attack by 1/3. Lead author Dr. Dana King commented, “We want to emphasize that it is not too late to change, and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle don’t accrue only to those who have been doing it all along, but you can make changes in your 50’s and 60’s and have a healthier, longer life because of it.”  Dr. David Katz, Director of the Prevention Research Center at the Yale University School of Medicine also commented saying,

“healthy living is the most powerful medicine of all. It requires no prescription, and all of its side effects are beneficial. It can be tough at times getting there from here, but it’s well worth it and ANYTIME is a good time to start.”

5. Sex is good for your heart. (Maybe I should have put this one first.)

A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that compared to men who reported having sex 2-3 times a week, men having sex once a month or less often had almost a 50% increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

I know what most of you women are thinking, this was obviously a study designed and conducted by men. But at least one of the  researchers was a woman, Dr Susan A. Hall, and she commented,

“our results suggest that low frequency of sexual activity predicts cardiovascular disease.”

The bottom line is that the heart is the most important, hardest working muscle in the body and when it stops working so do we. Why not commit to take at least one step to improve your heart health? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure which step most men will be willing to take first.

 

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