Category Archives: American Heart Association

5 Tips to Loving Exercise … or at Least Not Hating it – AHA

Over 50 per cent of Americans do not get the recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Can it be any wonder that health care costs grow every year when there are so many of us who fail to do the minimum to keep ourselves healthy?

Ask yourself – “Am I making an effort or making excuses?” Some 14 per cent of visitors to a recent American Heart Association (AHA) survey said that they did not like exercising.

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The AHA offers the following tips for those folks:

I thought I would pass them on. They quote Mercedes Carnethon, Ph.D., associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine as the source.

1. Find exercise that suits you
If you are social, do something that engages you, a group exercise class, kickball team or walk with a group of friends. If solo is more your style, walking or jogging might be a better fit. Regular readers know I have found bike riding as my answer.

One last example that springs to my mind is dancing. Because I love music, I always think of dancing as a super way to get a body moving. You can take a class, or just put on some music and do it at home. You will still get the same benefit from moving.

2. Make it a habit
“Exercise can become addictive in a positive way,” said Dr. Carnethon, who is also an American Heart Association volunteer. “Once it becomes a habit, you’ll notice when you aren’t doing something.”

This is a great idea. I look forward to my rides and consider them a priority in my day.

3. Build exercise into your lifestyle
“The key is building activity into your lifestyle so it is not disruptive,” Dr. Carnethon said. If you aren’t near a gym, it may be harder to become a habit for you. There are lots of ways to fit exercise into your life without a large financial commitment. Borrow exercise videos from the library, or record an exercise program off TV. I know that YouTube has an amazing amount of videos available right on your computer on every subject imaginable, including any kind of exercise you could want. She suggests walking as a great option. All you need is a good pair of shoes. I second that in spades. Check out my Page – Why You Should Walk More for more info on the many benefits of walking. Don’t forget, walking is weight bearing exercise, so it is good for your bones, too.

4. Do bouts of exercise
It is all right to break up physical activity into smaller segments. The AHA recommends 30 minutes a day of exercise most days, but if that sounds overwhelming, try three 10-minute workout sessions.

Walk to work, or walk a block or two to the train/bus to work. Climb a few flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator all the way up. Going shopping, park farther from the store and walk to and from it. There are lots of ways you can build in walking into your life.

5. Keep going
If you miss a day or a workout, don’t sweat it. Everybody struggles at some point. Just get back on the exercise horse the next day. “It doesn’t take too long to get back on track,” Dr. Carnethon said. “It’s easy to make something a habit again. You will see same benefits before. Any little bit you can fit in will show benefits.”

A good example of this is my recent trip when I couldn’t ride my bike for five days. I wrote Good Eating Habits Die Hard in Las Vegas.

It’s a cliche to say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” but it’s true, your good health is up to you.

Tony

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Filed under American Heart Association, Exercise, heart

What Are My Risks for Getting Heart Disease? – Infographic

I must confess I was blown away by the information in this infographic from the American Heart Association.

The three parts are the whole story: What are my risks? What are the 7 Simple Keys to Prevention? Am I making progress or excuses? That says it all. Take your time on this, your heart health could depend on it.

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Filed under American Heart Association, heart, heart problems

Every Body Walk!

I recently put together a page (which you can access from the titles at the top) on Why you should walk more. The page contains links to the 10 blog posts I have made over the past nearly four years on the benefits of walking.

Now comes the government with a powerful documentary – Every Body Walk! that you can watch by clicking the link.

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This film is is an online educational campaign aimed at getting Americans up and moving. The campaign’s goal – to spread the message that walking really can improve health and prevent disease. The campaign is led by Kaiser Permanente along with a number of other organizations, including the Office of the Surgeon General.

This 30 minute documentary was released to highlight the importance of walking in our lives. It explores the significant health and environmental benefits that can result from simply walking. The film’s primary message is to encourage Americans to walk on a regular basis for their own health and well being. Topics covered in the documentary include:

• The impact of inactivity
• Eliminating walking from our culture
• The evolution of man and walking
• Walking to better health
• Building walkable communities

“For too many people, much of the day is spent sitting in the car, at the desk or on the couch, which has serious health implications,” said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, Kaiser Permanente senior vice president, Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. “The film is sure to encourage people to get back on their feet, walking whenever and wherever they can – at work, at school, and in the community, all while getting involved in making their communities more walkable overall.”

I recommend that you check out the documentary at your leisure and get a look at the links on my page. Hopefully, these will get you thinking about the benefits of walking, the ugly stepsister of the exercise world. It is certainly a step in the right direction.

Tony

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Filed under aging, American Heart Association, Exercise, walking, Weight

How Much is Too Much Salt?

A recent study by the Institute of Medicine questioned the current guidellnes on salt intake saying they were too high.

The guidelines issued by the government say that adults should reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2300 mg. For those over age 51, or with a medical condition like diabetes or hypertension, salt intake should fall below 1500 mg.
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The American Heart Association puts the limit at 1500 mg per day for the entire population.

Dr. Marc Seigel, associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, said on Fox News today that he doesn’t know anyone who consumes less than 3000 mg per day and they all consume too much salt. In addition, most people get the majority of their salt from processed and restaurant food. Continue reading

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Filed under American Heart Association, salt, sodium