DESIGNING A HEALTHY DIET FOR THE NEW YEAR

Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The majority of these resolutions focus on diet in attempts to lose weight and be healthier. A new year is the perfect time to jumpstart a healthy diet to make the changes you want to see for yourself throughout the year. However, research shows 80 percent of resolutions fail by February. Many people strive for unrealistic goals, which ultimately set them up for failure.

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EXERCISE HAS BENEFICIAL EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN

While exercise has long been known for its positive effects on physical health and its ability to heighten energy and help manage chronic health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, exercise is now being lauded for its beneficial effects on the brain.   These benefits touch almost every aspect of life. Exercise helps sharpen short-term memory and improve long-term memory. This happens because exercise can reduce insulin resistance and inflammation and stimulate….

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GETTING STARTED AND STICKING WITH IT

As we kick off 2018, you may be thinking about resolutions pertaining to your health and fitness. It’s easy to determine some ways to improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. However, it’s not always as simple to stay motivated and make the new commitments part of your lifestyle. Now is the perfect time to set goals, whether it be for the number of days you intend to work out each week, how many steps you want to take each day or healthy meals you want to prepare for your family.

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Whatever you do, start small, set goals and reward yourself when you reach them.


Sources and Resources

Medline Plus: Weight Loss with heart disease The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women

Like many Americans, do you believe heart disease affects mostly men? In fact, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.


Heart disease, according to The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women, written by members of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is one of several cardiovascular diseases that affect the heart and the blood vessel system. Others include stroke, high blood pressure and rheumatic heart disease. Coronary heart disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrow due to a build-up of plaque on the arteries’ inner walls. Plaque is the accumulation of fat, cholesterol and other dead cells. As this sticky substance adheres on the walls of the arteries, blood flow to the heart muscle is reduced. If this blood supply is cut off to a portion of the coronary heart muscle, the result is a lack of fresh oxygenated blood to that part of the heart muscle, resulting in a heart attack.


There are some well-known risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking and high cholesterol. According to the handbook, some women have a group of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome, which is usually caused by overweight or obesity and not getting enough physical activity. A healthy weight is necessary for a long active life. In the United States, about 62 percent of American women age 20 years and older are

HEART DISEASE AND THE NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

more articles by jean jeffers

overweight — and of that number, about 33 percent are obese. The more overweight a woman is, the higher her risk for developing heart disease. Losing weight reduces that risk.


But losing weight effectively and keeping it off requires lifestyle changes, such as changes in eating and physical activity. The institute recommends no more than one-half to 2 pounds of weight loss per week, as well as taking a long-term approach to the subject.


For those considering losing weight, the institute recommends a combination of diet and regular exercise such as walking, swimming or biking. Cutting down on calories, especially from fat, is paramount. These two behaviors are a challenge for many but are not impossible to undertake.


Other tips from The Heart Health Handbook include: