Heart disease kills millions of Americans each year. It is the leading cause of death for both men and women. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease (CAD), which leads to heart attacks. One way to reduce your risk of CAD is to make some lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating, stress management and physical activity.   Physical activity is an essential part of being heart healthy. The American Heart Association (AHA) says you need at least 150 minutes of moderate....



There are an estimated 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, a testament to the more than 25-year decline in mortality, according to the American Cancer Society. Still, 231,000 women will be diagnosed with the disease this year, and about 40,000 will die. Fortunately, there have been some exciting breakthroughs in breast cancer detection and treatment recently.



If you’re looking for a safe, effective program that will help you get toned, become more flexible or lose weight, personal training could be for you.  A personal trainer will teach you proper form and technique to keep you safe and injury free. But first, he or she needs to know what your goals are – whether you want to lose weight, get healthy and tone up or train for bodybuilding, fitness competitions or powerlifting. Perhaps you’re an older person who wants to work on balance and stability.


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• Explain your reasoning with confidence. When someone asks why you’re going gluten-free or not eating cake, clearly explain that you’re hoping to improve the way you eat or that you don’t want to feel sluggish from the sugar. You just might help someone else make a healthier choice.

• Team up. Find an office buddy who wants to start eating better and challenge that person to a lunch outing. Agree that you’ll both order an item with vegetables or skip the soda. Doing it together takes the spotlight off you and hopefully inspire others to team up with you.

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice healthy nutrition to fit in with a group. Instead of being embarrassed by others’ comments, use them as an opportunity to start a discussion about healthy eating. Be sure to come from a positive, nonjudgmental viewpoint. You never know how your actions can impact the way someone else thinks about their own nutritional choices.

How many times have you gone out to eat with the intention of ordering a healthy dish, only to change your mind after you’ve heard what everyone else has ordered?

There are a few reasons we do this. Sometimes it’s a matter of will power. When everyone else is ordering burgers or pasta, suddenly your salad doesn’t sound as appetizing. You give in because the other options sound too good to pass up.

Other times, you may order as the rest of the group does because you want to fit in. You don’t want to stand out as the only person who ordered something healthy at a restaurant famous for its loaded burgers. Maybe you’re experimenting with a gluten-free or dairy-free diet and don’t want to draw attention to it.

It can be difficult to make healthy choices when you’re surrounded by people who aren’t committed to a similar lifestyle. Whether it’s your coworkers, friends or family members, you may be afraid or just plain tired of the comments they make about your food choices. When you’re the only one at an office party or family gathering eating greens while everyone else is loading up on pizza, you stick out like a sore thumb. An office full of adults can easily turn into a high school gym class, picking on the “nerd” who brought vegetables to work for a snack when there are donuts



Michelle Chalkey is a Des Moines-based freelance writer specializing in health and lifestyle topics. She enjoys helping businesses communicate their messages through blogging and effective storytelling. Connect with Michelle on Facebook or check out her blog for helpful tips on the writing process and productivity.

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in the break room.

Being called out for your diet is no reason to sacrifice your health. Rather, it’s a reason to embrace it. If your goal is to improve your eating habits, you should celebrate rather than deny it. Instead of lowering your health standards to fit in, accept your eating choices as your way of life. Be proud of it. And if people ask, use the opportunity to teach them about the benefits of healthy eating. With any goal you make for yourself, there will be people who try to bring you down or stand in your way. They don’t necessarily mean to derail your progress. Often their interference is because they want this goal for themselves and aren’t making progress as you are.

Rather than sacrificing your healthy habits, try the following tips to own your diet:

• Bring a healthy dish to office potlucks and holiday parties. It’s take a chance to wow everyone with how delicious healthy food can taste. Make your favorite recipe and proudly share it with the group.