February is here! Love is in the air and heart shaped boxes full of candy line the shelves of every store. But it’s not just a month about romantic gestures and sugar highs—it’s also heart health month!
Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the U.S.? Clearly, this is the bad news. The good news is that it’s also the most preventable.
Considering the whole person
If you think the focus of this article is heart healthy diet and exercise, you are about 2/3 correct. However, since you are not 2/3 of a person, it would be unfair to only address those factors.
Let’s take a look at you as a whole person. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, the holistic philosophy is characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
Realizing that your entire being (mind, body and spirit) is completely connected, and what affects one part will affect another, is the key to true health.
Same advice, different day?
Yes, you already know most of this, but knowing and doing are two different things.
- Eat more veggies and fruits—these fiber-rich foods help lower your LDL (the “bad” cholesterol)
- Eat more beans, legumes, seeds and nuts (if your stomach is sensitive to certain foods, don’t give up, keep trying different combinations)
- Eat more healthy fats (read your labels and look for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, do a quick Google search for healthy fats and buy them!)
- Choose lean protein and fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids more often than meats higher in fatty content
- Avoid processed foods—AKA the standard American diet
- If you smoke—PLEASE find a way to quit
- Get regular exercise—walk, hike, run, swim, hula-hoop, dance, lift weights, do yoga, whatever makes you happy—just get moving
Jennifer Viverette is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach. A Lincoln County resident since 2008, who loves the tight-knit community. Married for 21 years, with 3 cool kids, she loves to run, hike, and read. After spending over 20 years in Human Resources, Jennifer now enjoys helping people reach their goals in a different capacity. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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