Saturday, February 28, 2009

Heart Health

How healthy is your heart?

February is national heart health month, and there are some simple but effective things that can help you maintain optimal heart health. These simple suggestions take only a few minutes to read, but could make a lifetime of difference for you.

Diet and Lifestyle

A consistent, healthy diet and lifestyle can be your best defense against heart disease, but many of us surrender to the "misconception" that it is too difficult to achieve. The fact is however, that the hardest part of making positive changes in your diet and lifestyle is your fundamental decision to make the commitment. Take comfort knowing that the many risk factors for heart disease can be prevented or controlled, and it usually does not take long to actually see and feel the benefits of:

- Maintaining a Balanced Diet
- Exercising to manage stress and maintain your optimal weigh
- Not Smoking
- Not using drugs
- Maintaining a Balanced Diet

Here are some general guidelines and recommendations:

- Dairy Products - Select fat-free, 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products.
- Trans Fat Alert - Reduce and / or eliminate your consumption of foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
- Dietary Cholesterol Reduction - Set a goal of eating foods with less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day.
- Reduce intake of anything with high sugar content.
- Drink more water. Proper water consumption delivers enormous benefits for heart health and many other aspects of your overall health.
- Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Your goal should be to eat less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day (or less than 1,500 mg if you are in a higher risk group for high blood pressure).
- If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. No more than one drink per day if you're a woman and two drinks per day if you're a man.
- Limit the size of your meal portions - Even if something is healthy, it does not mean you can eat more of it. Besides you'll feel better after you eat.

Lifestyle - Exercise

Exercise is critical to maintaining a healthy heart, but before you start any exercise regime, make sure you have seen your doctor, and are healthy enough to begin. Some of the many benefits of an exercise program are that it can help lower your cholesterol level, reduce stress, help maintain one's body weight and reduce depression. Your overall quality of life increases significantly with a balanced exercise program.

No Smoking. No Drugs

Plain and simple, it is extremely important to your overall heart health that you do not smoke or utilize drugs. Today is never too soon to quit, and you will thank yourself for never engaging or stopping such unhealthy habits.

I urge everyone who has read this valuable information to share it with their families' and friends. Please let them know that this newsletter is but only one of the valuable services Med File Now, Inc. (MedFN) provides for its members. Encourage everyone to take the tour, join and take part in sharing this vision, so we may all benefit.