One of my early professional writing assignments required several meetings at a Heart Health Rehab facility. Each time I went there the waiting room was filled with people who were overweight and who looked like they hadn’t taken time for exercise or the discipline of a healthy lifestyle. And yet here they were—taking time—lots of time—for what some would discover was a vain attempt to reverse damage to their hearts and lungs. No doubt there was a time when they had choices. Now many would gladly settle for just a chance to have their energy back, the ability to take a few deep breaths and enjoy the freedom and peace of mind that comes with good health.
If you’re overweight, over 40, over-worked or over-stressed, there’s a book I recommend you read: “Healthy Heart for Life! The Mayo Clinic Plan for Preventing and Conquering Heart Disease”. There’s no doubt the Heart-Health Experts at Mayo Clinic know what they’re talking about. Check it out at www.MayoClinic.org. A few favorite chapter titles include, “Eat Healthy,” “Deal with Tobacco and Weight,” and “Enjoy Life.” A healthy life isn’t just about getting all the numbers right, they say. It’s also about relaxation and fun, love and laughter. Discover what brings you joy and satisfaction.”
Stress is a factor in all our lives as we’re bombarded daily from all angles. Some of the worst offenders are unsolicited messages, invasive technology, world and local news that focuses on violence and crime. These and other stressors may affect us physically with headaches, indigestion or high blood pressure. Psychological signs of stress may appear as anxiety, depression or lack of direction. A few behaviors that often accompany stress include impatience—aka having a short fuse—increased use of alcohol or drugs, neglecting responsibility or burnout.
Dr. Bryan McIver, an endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic, who had a massive heart attack at age 37, says, “You should never ignore symptoms when it involves pain in the chest. And don’t diagnose yourself. I’m a doctor, and I didn’t get it right.”
The doctors at Mayo Clinic make no bones about it when they say to men and women: Heart Disease is the one thing most likely to kill you—and there’s a lot you can do about it.” Even little things can make a big difference. That is if you’re not too busy.
I’m challenging myself this month to have non-fat yogurt rather than 2% milk on my breakfast cereal. That’s about as simple as it gets yet in the course of this 29-day month that one simple change eliminates 60 grams of saturated fat!
Why not take the lead and drive the initiative by challenging your family and friends to take the Million Hearts™ pledge at http://millionhearts.hhs.gov to enhance and extend their lives and your own? What a gift this would be!
© Judy DeLapa 2016