Start With The Heart
In examining your health and wellness, your right to life, its only logical that we start with the very organ defining our viability: our heart. Often overlooked when it comes to the intertwining of our everyday activities; maintaining a healthy heart is critical to longevity and the pursuit of a wealth in health. Examining wellness from a holistic perspective means identifying that the key to heart health is multi-factorial. It involves both physiological and psycho-social components. A focus on three primary variables will help maintain heart health.
1. all you need is love- it’s ironic that this is often the most overlooked component when it comes to heart health. Our intimate relationships can be a key indicator for keeping our hearts well. This includes relationships with romantic partners, friends and family. These individuals will influence where we dine, the types of foods we eat, and can help us stay motivated to stay active. In addition, a healthy support system can help to mediate stress. Stress is a key contributor to elevated cortisol levels. Elevated cortisol can lead to increased hunger, especially for those high fat high calorie foods. Acute mental stress can cause vasoconstriction (reduced blood flow) putting our hearts at risk. So spread the love people.
2. maintain a healthy diet- limit those saturated and trans fats. Shake off that salt habit (this includes your “natural” sea salt which usually contains a similar amount of sodium by weight to iodized salt). In particular, watch for hidden sodium in pre packaged foods or meat products and cheeses. Follow a whole-foods plant based diet. Consume a diet rich in potassium-this will help with blood pressure regulation. When choosing meats choose leaner meat products. Look for fiber rich foods. Maintain a healthy weight.
3. Get active- Get in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity 6 days a week. This means maintaining the pace where its difficult to sing a song, but you can carry on a conversation with a friend OK. The best time is any time. If you don’t have 30 minutes to spare, break it up. Get up during commercials. Park further away at the grocery store. Stand while you are on a phone call. Remember even if you’re not meeting the full recommendation, something is always better than nothing!
Remember when it comes to health, there is no single magic variable. Be informed, be involved and stay well.
©2016 Shenajaramillo.jnutrition, LLC