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Posts Tagged ‘heart disease’

11:19 am - Posted by Gregg

Did you know that September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month? Don’t worry if you didn’t. I didn’t know this either. But turns out it’s a great time to raise our awareness about heart health whether or not we know someone directly affected by heart disease. After all, Atrial Fibrillation is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths every year. And, as usual, prevention is the best remedy for heart health.

Want more information? Check out this helpful infographic below. Then join me in making healthy-minded decisions (such as deciding to eat less fried food and take more walks) that will benefit our hearts (and all of our body parts).

Help spread the word by using this hashtag throughout this month and even during future months: #RhythmicResolutions. The heart you save may be your own! (P.S. Sending a special shout out and thank you to Judy C. who wrote to me about this important issue!)

 

Infographic Source: Atrial fibrillation infographics on Pinterest

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10:23 am - Posted by Gregg

Too often when dieting, we focus on what we’re giving up rather than what we’re (for lack of a better word) gaining. In fact, medical research has shown that we don’t even have to reach our goal weight before our bodies will begin to benefit from the healthy perks that can come about after losing just 7 to 10% of our body weight.

In a compelling writeup on WebMD, Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD reports that best selling author David Katz, MD, MPH, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center and the Yale Preventive Medicine Center confirms, “’Lifestyle changes that include healthier diets, regular physical activity, and weight loss of 7%-10% have shown phenomenal health benefits that can be more effective than medications.”

In fact, Katz confirms on WebMD that 90% of all diabetes, 80% of heart disease, and 60% of cancers are preventable with healthier lifestyles and normal body weights.

Researcher Catherine Champagne of the Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center reports to WebMD that “We have seen a consistent pattern in our weight loss studies that when patients lose 5%-10% of their body weight, they lower blood pressure, reduce LDL [AKA “bad”] cholesterol, improve glucose tolerance, and in general, lower the risk for cardiovascular disease.”

Champagne went onto tell WebMD that some doctors have reported that they have successfully taken patients off blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications after the patients lost small amounts of weight.

Article author Zelman goes onto suggest that we consider how much harder it would be to climb stairs or simply to walk if we were carrying around a backpack filled with 5- or 10-pound bricks. Now imagine how much lighter we would feel without the backpack. That’s the feeling we could get from losing as little as 5 pounds or 10 pounds.

Zelman also recommends that we think in terms of “progress,” rather than “perfection.” This translates to ignoring stricter diets along with the dated notion that I takes “All or nothing” to truly achieve success on a diet.

Zelman also reports that Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, of Northwestern Memorial Hospital Wellness Institute, affirms that “Anyone who actively makes healthy lifestyle changes will begin to see and feel the improvements in 8 to 12 weeks.”

To conclude her insightful article, Zelman includes five simple health tips from Katz that you can read by clicking here.

So next time you start thinking about what you’ve given up (food-wise) or what you’re doing without (treat-wise), focus in on the medical benefits that you’re going to gain by eating healthier and moving more. And, it turns out, you won’t have to necessarily reach your goal weight to start feeling – and enjoying – the perks.

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April 12, 2012

Come on, get happy

9:24 am - Posted by Gregg

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” – E. E. Cummings

Is it just me? Or does it seem like the wiser we get, the more truth we discover in some of the anecdotes and sayings we’ve heard most of our lives? Take “Laughter is the best medicine,” for example. More and more medical studies are proving that sage advice to be true. So why not take the hint and lighten up?

It has been proven time and time again that laughter acts as an effective cure for combating personal challenges, stress and other conflicts that arise. A simple laugh can instantly bring body and mind back into balance no matter what the circumstances. And less stress equates to better health – both mental and physical.

What’s more, when you laugh with a friend or even in a group of people, it inspires a sense of companionship and has been proven to bring people together while triggering positive physical changes in the body that can actually strengthen the immune system, lessen pain and offer an antidote to stress. And the best part about this “instant medication” that can cure so much of what we’re dealing with? It requires no prescription and doesn’t cost a cent.

Adding more laughter to your life might seem like a no-brainer. But these days, our happiness can be challenged by many different things (like watching the evening news, for example). For a change, why not turn the bad news off and turn the corners of your mouth up? After all, smiling is where laughter begins – and has also proven to be contagious.

Even though complaining about circumstances with friends often seems like therapy, try turning the depression on its ear by asking a question like, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you last week?” Often changing the mood from sour to happy is simply a matter of perspective that we have complete control over (if we choose to take control that is).

A Few Of Laughter’s Many Benefits:

Laughter is a wellness provider. Not only can laughter ease anxiety and fear, it has been proven to reduce pain, relax muscles and even help prevent heart disease.

Laughter gives you immune system a push in the right direction. Medical studies have shown that laughter can decrease stress hormones while increasing infection-fighting antibodies.

Laughter makes your heart healthier. Laughter can improve blood vessel functions, which increases healthy flow (meaning less potential for cardiovascular trouble).

Laughter turns mood swings back in the right direction. Humor not only makes challenges seem less daunting, it also helps us be more focused and alert.

Laughter can act as your own personal matchmaker. A state of happiness builds relationships, attracts others to us, aids in ending conflicts and encourages bonding between strangers.

Here are some helpful links for turning any frown upside-down:

For a “Laughter is the best medicine video,” click here

To find out more about how laughter works, click here

To learn more about improving the body through laughter, click here

Do you have various ways that you stay cheerful no matter what you’re facing during your day? If so, please share your tips by commenting below. I promise not to laugh at any ideas you share. Oh, wait – no, I don’t! I actually hope to laugh… And hope you do, as well.

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