Three ways to love your heart more
World Heart Day happens every year. Most of us will hear, see or have something to do with it. But how many of us will actually get the message? How many of us will get serious about looking after the thing that keeps us alive?
Cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer today. So there’s no day like today to start eating more healthily, doing more exercise, quitting smoking, and getting your friends and family on board with it too.
We’re not talking about hitting the gym every like a maniac or becoming a bicep-bound hero. We’re talking about making small changes that will go a long way to reducing your risk of heart disease, obesity, stroke and T2 diabetes. Changes that will show your heart how much it means to you. Changes like these:
1. GET MOVING
Pretty simple, huh? Yet on average, us Brits sit on our butts for more than 8 hours a day. You don’t have to look far see how harmful this sedentary way of life is to your health. Not only does your metabolism go on strike, blood sugar levels grow weary, blood pressure goes haywire, and leg muscles take a hike. The end result? Heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, just to name a few.
But the solution is simple. Get up off your backside and get moving! Go for a walk at lunchtime or take a class at your local fitness studio. Kick a ball around with the kids, walk (or run) with your dog, wash the car, or roll up your sleeves and break a sweat with some good old fashioned housework. Ditch the lift and take the stairs. Leave the car at home and cycle or walk your way to work. You get the idea – it all counts.
2. SLEEP WELL
The flip-side to leading a more active lifestyle is getting enough rest. Sleep isn’t optional. And it’s definitely not a luxury. It’s essential for good health.
Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can play havoc with your metabolic function and appetite. It’s no accident the munchies strike when we’re up all night. It’s the hormone imbalances from lack of sleep that make us hungry – which in turn can lead to over-eating and obesity.
As mentioned in our previous post, Relax! And Get Fitter in the Process, there’s a scientific link between a lack of sleep and Type 2 diabetes. Depriving your body of sleep causes insulin levels to drop, which in turn affects blood sugar levels. When your insulin levels are screwed up, you store more fat in all the wrong places, like your liver.
So no more excuses, people. Get in the habit of switching lights off earlier, and clocking six to eight hours of quality shut-eye so you can wake up to a happier, healthier you.
3. FORGET THE FADS
When it comes weight, ‘easy come’ is hardly ever ‘easy go’. Sure, we all know how easy it is to pile on the kilos by eating too much, making bad food choices, and living a couch-potato life. But no matter what anyone tells you, losing that weight for good takes more time and a lot of sweat (and probably tears).
Popping a magic pill (that isn’t magic) isn’t the answer. Eating like a hamster for a week isn’t either. And pounding the treadmill like a bat out of hell isn’t going to get your far. What you need to do is get your goals straight, put a plan in place, and start one step at a time.
If you’re new to exercise or haven’t worked out in a while, get the advice of someone who knows what they’re talking about. Ask a Personal Trainer for some starter tips or even sign up for a few sessions so you can get a solid plan together and learn how to work out safely. With the right advice and support behind you, you can say goodbye to yo-yo weight loss and fad diets, and achieve real results that last.
Think about how hard your heart works for you. Isn’t it time you returned the favour by giving your heart some well-deserved love?
– Team Anarchy45