You exercise and have switched to coconut oil for cooking and by God are just too darn young to have heart problems right?!
Maybe you've gone from couch potato to a brief daily potty time walk with the pooch or you may have changed your cooking oil to coconut or olive oil, both good sources of Omega 6 fatty acids, as well as excellent at and heart healthy choices. But is it enough?
Skip the 'Chip and Dip'
Are you a salty girl? I am! Now I am not saying I would pass up a chewy gooey brownie every time I see one. BUT I generally gravitate to salt versus the sweet, or at least like the combination of if posed with a choice. But as a rule of thumb the more salt intake, the higher our blood pressure rises which can lead to stroke or heart attack and often with no symptoms. In lieu of typical dip, you can of course substitute guacamole or hummus as a healthier choice. Aside from going easier on the shaker another way to lessen the amount of sodium you consume is to stay clear of as much packaged food as possible. If you take the time to actually read your food labels for sodium content you'd be surprised how much is in most.... even in vegetables, canned that is. Always opt for frozen over canned and of course fresh whenever possible especially when in season!
What's Your Number(s)?
So when was the last time you checked your cholesterol level? Or your resting blood pressure? If you are thinking in your head, “I have NO idea”, that’s a risk you may not want to be taking. Numbers like that can be high without you knowing and no outward signs as you very wall may feel completely normal. Be sure to visit your doc regularly and At your next checkup or annual exam, be sure to get these two numbers and now where you are and either where you want to be or hopefully stay and then track them yourself.
Waist Not, Want Not
If I told you there was one particular measurement to best assess your OVERALL health, would you be surprised to know it's your Waist! Belly fat in particular is very bad for your heart. So no more wearing stretchy or yoga points in lieu of jeans because well, frankly you can't button them. Save the yoga pants for yoga, but we'll talk about that another time. It's time to dust off the tape measure and check your waist size which is one inch above your belly button and if its more than 35 inches around, you are considered clinically obese! The more fat that is around the waistline, the more likely it is stored INSIDE the abdomen. Visceral fat, as it it is called is a metabolically hyperactive fat, which releases health-harming chemicals into the bloodstream that cause premature aging and increase your risk of all forms of Cardiovascular disease—which includes stroke, heart disease, and even heart failure. Start with small goals as even losing a small amount of weight reduces your chances of heart attack or stroke by the same percentage as your weight loss.
I Exercise, So I am Good!
If you exercise that’s great. But if are binge watching old episodes of Sex and the City o a weekend or during the workday, you are sitting the majority of the day, that’s a problem. For TV time during the commercial, try a wall squat or a push up or try to hold a plank as long as you can and work your way up for the entire commercial break. During the work week, take the elevator of park further away or even take a walk outside during your lunch or around the building even on the inside. Being stationery for hours at a time definitely increases your risk of a stroke and even a heart attack and yes even if you DO exercised Wonder why? In short it boils down to the lack of movement can affect the levels of both fats and sugars in your blood.
I am too Young for Heart Problems
Ever said, or thought that to yourself? Cardiovascular disease claims more lives in American than Cancer!? Think about that for a minute. Don’t be one of those that waits until something happens and they have a scare that makes them start taking care of themselves or wish they had started sooner. Not only exercising but eating a healthy fat and fiber rich balanced diet with not skipping meals, but rather grazing throughout the day can make all the difference. Know your numbers of you blood sugar, blood pressure and blood cholesterol which can all be contributing factors to heart disease among others! Do yourself (and your family) a favor and change your habits now!