It is essential to live a healthy lifestyle if you want to do whatever possible to avoid heart disease, the leading cause of death in American women and one of the leading causes in men. There are a few key things to keep in mind while trying to live a healthy lifestyle.
- Watch what you eat. Eating better will decrease your risk of heart disease and heart attack and help you lose unneeded weight as well as make you feel better, both physically and mentally. Drinking water regularly is one of the best ways to fell full between meals if you have a tendency toward obesity, as most Americans do. Watch your sugar intake as well, many Americans are suffering from type two, or adult onset diabetes, and eating sugar all the time has been found to be a contributing factor in the onset.
- Exercise regularly. This includes walking, running, indoor biking, or whatever type of exercise you feel comfortable with and are physically capable of doing. Contrary to popular belief, one does not need to be sweating buckets and totally exhausted after a workout. Regular exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle. You can get just as healthy by walking 15-20 minutes a day, at a moderate pace. This is especially helpful for pregnant women and the elderly, or persons with hip and leg trouble. If you are feeling unsafe walking outside, try a treadmill, but don’t bother trying to “keep up” with everyone else at the gym, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
- Lower your LDL Cholesterol. Talk to your doctor about lowering your LDL cholesterol levels with the TLC diet (which is a low-saturated-fat, low-cholesterol diet that includes less than 7% of calories from saturated fat and only enough calories to maintain a healthy weight and avoid gaining any), physical activity, and weight loss. There are also several prescription medication choices for lowering cholesterol, but check with your doctor about these.
- Manage stress. Learn to set boundaries, to leave work at work, and how to say no when it is appropriate. Correlations have been established between stress and heart disease that cannot be ignored. Allow yourself time to relax; you deserve it! Reducing stress will help you live a healthy lifestyle. Do not volunteer for everything that comes up in your community or your child’s school. While it is important to stay connected, you may find your self overwhelmed and become resentful, which is very stressful.
- Conversely, living a healthy lifestyle can reduce stress! Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol, and drug use, eat well, exercise, and maintain a positive outlook, and stress should not even be an issue for you.
- Visit your doctor for regular check-ups. Although they may not be exciting or pleasant, the doctor may want to perform tests whose results can affect the rest of your life!
These are some of the more “traditional ways to a healthy lifestyle, feel free to check out forms of alternative health care, such as herbal supplements or yoga. A naturopath can lead you in the right direction toward natural alternatives.