Before getting my Chiropractic degree, I worked many years as an exercise physiologist and director of a couple of cardiac rehabilitation programs. One thing I learned pretty quickly during that time is that what I thought was common sense about health and heart health in particular, really wasn’t so common.
Most people live their life with their arms wide open saying “Okay heart disease… come and get me!” Sad isn’t it. Sure some people have a genetic predisposition toward the disease but most people just prefer living the good life to living the healthy life.
Nonetheless, if you are ready to achieve a better balance between what your brain wants and what your body needs, start with these simple solutions to get you on the right path without turning your world upside down.
1. Improve what you put in your body (you knew that was coming huh!). Improving the quality of the food going down your gullet will make you feel better by increasing energy and focus and will help reduce cravings for junk food which will make the other changes below go much smoother. So what’s a few simple changes to make for real people who don’t have a desire to live on kelp and quinoa. Try these simple steps..
- Curb the Crap – Cut the amount of food you eat that is made with refined flour and a bunch of sugar in half. So in other words, cut your cakes, cookies, white bread, white rice and candy, soda and booze intake by 50%. Not sure if it’s bad for you? If you crave it or like it then it likely is.
- Choose Wisely– You are probably busy and because of that, fast food is sometimes all the options you got! That’s fine… you gotta eat and they gotta make money. Just make better choices. The grilled chicken sandwich, salad and water will fill you up same as the fried chicken sandwich, fries and a soda will. Only difference is that with the latter you feel bloated, tired and you heart is working harder the rest of the day to push the sludge through your arteries.
- Fish and Nuts– Add a little more salmon and tuna to your diet to increase the good cholesterol that your body needs. And if you need a snack, try some raw nuts to get more of the fish affect on your body.
- Juice– Drop some bucks and get a juicer. Juicing is a fantastic way to get going on a higher vegetable intake but without all that peeling, chopping and chewing… let the juicer do it for you!
2. Get off the Tobacco. It’s no secret that smoking is not good for you. That nicotine is bad stuff. One study showed that when heroin abusers were given nicotine IV they couldn’t tell the difference in the substances.
Good news is that according to the American Heart Association, after 1 year of being off cigarettes, the risk of heart disease caused by smoking is reduced by half. So kick the habit and there’s still hope to see your grandbabies graduate college.
3. Get a Move On. Web MD says that a sedentary life is one of the top risk factors for heart disease. The reality is that blood pressure won’t come down, cholesterol won’t come down, blood sugar levels won’t regulate and the waist size won’t shrink unless you get moving.
I’m not saying you need to start a weight lifting routine and knock out a 5 mile jog everyday. Things like gardening, Pilates, yoga, tennis and other activities that may be considered more ‘fun’ will work fine if getting ripped ain’t your deal.
Just dedicate 45 minutes 4 days a week minimum to spending this time on you to get you started. You can figure out how you want to change it from there.
I realize that is a short and simple list of ways to get you going. It’s not exactly the clinically orthodox suggestions you might have expected but then again we are talking about ‘real world’ changes here and when you are dealing with everything life throws at you each day, just starting with a few changes is the key to not getting overwhelmed, discouraged or burned out.