MAKING CHANGES IN THE NEW YEAR
Lifestyle means different things to different people. In the past, a healthy lifestyle for hardworking farmers meant getting up before dawn to first milk cows before spending a long day of heavy labor in the fields. A breakfast of fried pork chops and eggs accompanied by homemade bread slathered with butter commonly provided the first meal of the day. A hard working man needed those heavy calories for energy to perform his daily job.
Scan old photos and it’s unlikely you’ll find a fat farmer. They ate food laden with fat and calories but they worked it off. They earned their calories. My grandfather was a farmer. I saw what he ate. My family enjoyed amazing meals, especially during threshing when friends helped friends and families helped families. Eating well was their way of life. For most of us it’s the same today—except now, many people don’t earn their calories.
The body is an efficient metabolic machine. When you eat more calories than you burn your body stores the excess as fat. So lifestyle today is different from the lifestyle of the past, and practices of the past are unhealthy today.
Exercise is the single most important activity that correlates with a long and healthy life. A close second are: your food choices and the volume of food you eat. We need to eat to live, not live to eat.
A new twenty year-long study of 70,000 women confirmed a healthy lifestyle could prevent 75% of heart attacks in young women. Death rates from heart disease in the US have slowly dropped over the past four decades, but in women ages 35-44, this is not true. The study published in the American College of Cardiology reported health habits make the difference. Women with unhealthy lifestyle choices began showing increased heart risks by age 47.
Below are seven top ways to improve your lifestyle and reduce risks for heart disease:
• Don’t smoke
• Consume a maximum of one alcoholic drink/day
• Maintain a normal body mass index (BMI)
• Watch seven or fewer hours of TV per week
• Exercise at least 2.5 hours per week (35 minutes per day)
• Eat a quality diet based on Harvard’s School of Public Health healthy eating plate.
• Have an annual physical that includes a lipid panel
Smoking: Quit. Ask your doctor for assistance if you can’t do it on your own.
Alcohol: Wine: 5 ounces, Liquor: 1.5 ounces, Beer: 12 ounces
Plate and portions:
BMI: At the link below you’ll find health information and a BMI calculator to check your current BMI. For the calculation you need to know your weight in pounds and height.
Make 2015 a healthy year for you and your family. Monitor your blood pressure, address your weight, add exercise every day and encourage others to do the same.
Betty Kuffel, MD and Bev Erickson
Lipstick Logic (TM)