Take good lifestyle habits to heart

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

February is Heart Health month. Studies show that being physically active lowers your chance of heart disease. The preventable risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity and physical inactivity.

Genetics are also a major determinant but unfortunately, they're not modifiable. If you have any of the risk factors there is still something you can do: maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. While it seems simple enough, it's not always simple to maintain.

Doing something is better than nothing. You don't need to become an elite athlete but you should try to build up to 30 minutes of moderate activity most days (always at an intensity appropriate for you). It is always wise to consult a physician before starting an exercise program, especially if you are experiencing one or more of the risk factors. You are never too old to be physically fit or start an exercise program; people of all ages benefit from physical activity.

More and more research indicates that regular exercise is needed for a long, healthy life. To start an exercise program, pick activities that are fun (perhaps with a friend), wear comfortable clothes and appropriate footwear and choose places with soft and even surfaces to avoid injury. Walking is a great way to start. Take your time warming up and cooling down and ensure you stretch afterwards. Remember to drink plenty of water.

To start children on an exercise routine, limit sedentary activities (TV, video games, computer time) to two hours per day. Have your children bike and walk as often as possible rather than drive them. Encourage activity in teams and sports as well as family activities that get you moving. Assign outside chores or house cleaning that will require your children to exert themselves. One of the best things you can do for your children is to be a good role model yourself.

As well as starting an exercise plan, it is important to plan on eating well. A heart-healthy diet includes unprocessed foods: lots of veggies and fruit, and rice/grains that retain their original "kernel" structure (www.heartinfo.org). Eating oily fish like mackerel, herring, sardines, salmon and fresh tuna can help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve your odds of survival after a heart attack. Reducing the amounts of fat in your diet and changing from saturated fat to polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat helps to increase the amount of good cholesterol in your blood.

To keep your blood pressure down you need to reduce the amount of salt in your diet.

Dietary fibre (fruits, vegetables, bran, and beans) is essential for good digestion and healthy living.

Start off with small, gradual changes to include healthier elements to your life. Feeling successful helps us to stay on track with our goals. Make a plan and keep working at it.

Dale Rowe is manager of Adult Services at the Flamborough Family YMCA. She can be reached at 905-690-3555 x 7012 or at dale_rowe@ymca.ca

Take good lifestyle habits to heart

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

February is Heart Health month. Studies show that being physically active lowers your chance of heart disease. The preventable risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity and physical inactivity.

Genetics are also a major determinant but unfortunately, they're not modifiable. If you have any of the risk factors there is still something you can do: maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. While it seems simple enough, it's not always simple to maintain.

Doing something is better than nothing. You don't need to become an elite athlete but you should try to build up to 30 minutes of moderate activity most days (always at an intensity appropriate for you). It is always wise to consult a physician before starting an exercise program, especially if you are experiencing one or more of the risk factors. You are never too old to be physically fit or start an exercise program; people of all ages benefit from physical activity.

More and more research indicates that regular exercise is needed for a long, healthy life. To start an exercise program, pick activities that are fun (perhaps with a friend), wear comfortable clothes and appropriate footwear and choose places with soft and even surfaces to avoid injury. Walking is a great way to start. Take your time warming up and cooling down and ensure you stretch afterwards. Remember to drink plenty of water.

To start children on an exercise routine, limit sedentary activities (TV, video games, computer time) to two hours per day. Have your children bike and walk as often as possible rather than drive them. Encourage activity in teams and sports as well as family activities that get you moving. Assign outside chores or house cleaning that will require your children to exert themselves. One of the best things you can do for your children is to be a good role model yourself.

As well as starting an exercise plan, it is important to plan on eating well. A heart-healthy diet includes unprocessed foods: lots of veggies and fruit, and rice/grains that retain their original "kernel" structure (www.heartinfo.org). Eating oily fish like mackerel, herring, sardines, salmon and fresh tuna can help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve your odds of survival after a heart attack. Reducing the amounts of fat in your diet and changing from saturated fat to polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat helps to increase the amount of good cholesterol in your blood.

To keep your blood pressure down you need to reduce the amount of salt in your diet.

Dietary fibre (fruits, vegetables, bran, and beans) is essential for good digestion and healthy living.

Start off with small, gradual changes to include healthier elements to your life. Feeling successful helps us to stay on track with our goals. Make a plan and keep working at it.

Dale Rowe is manager of Adult Services at the Flamborough Family YMCA. She can be reached at 905-690-3555 x 7012 or at dale_rowe@ymca.ca

Take good lifestyle habits to heart

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

February is Heart Health month. Studies show that being physically active lowers your chance of heart disease. The preventable risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity and physical inactivity.

Genetics are also a major determinant but unfortunately, they're not modifiable. If you have any of the risk factors there is still something you can do: maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. While it seems simple enough, it's not always simple to maintain.

Doing something is better than nothing. You don't need to become an elite athlete but you should try to build up to 30 minutes of moderate activity most days (always at an intensity appropriate for you). It is always wise to consult a physician before starting an exercise program, especially if you are experiencing one or more of the risk factors. You are never too old to be physically fit or start an exercise program; people of all ages benefit from physical activity.

More and more research indicates that regular exercise is needed for a long, healthy life. To start an exercise program, pick activities that are fun (perhaps with a friend), wear comfortable clothes and appropriate footwear and choose places with soft and even surfaces to avoid injury. Walking is a great way to start. Take your time warming up and cooling down and ensure you stretch afterwards. Remember to drink plenty of water.

To start children on an exercise routine, limit sedentary activities (TV, video games, computer time) to two hours per day. Have your children bike and walk as often as possible rather than drive them. Encourage activity in teams and sports as well as family activities that get you moving. Assign outside chores or house cleaning that will require your children to exert themselves. One of the best things you can do for your children is to be a good role model yourself.

As well as starting an exercise plan, it is important to plan on eating well. A heart-healthy diet includes unprocessed foods: lots of veggies and fruit, and rice/grains that retain their original "kernel" structure (www.heartinfo.org). Eating oily fish like mackerel, herring, sardines, salmon and fresh tuna can help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve your odds of survival after a heart attack. Reducing the amounts of fat in your diet and changing from saturated fat to polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat helps to increase the amount of good cholesterol in your blood.

To keep your blood pressure down you need to reduce the amount of salt in your diet.

Dietary fibre (fruits, vegetables, bran, and beans) is essential for good digestion and healthy living.

Start off with small, gradual changes to include healthier elements to your life. Feeling successful helps us to stay on track with our goals. Make a plan and keep working at it.

Dale Rowe is manager of Adult Services at the Flamborough Family YMCA. She can be reached at 905-690-3555 x 7012 or at dale_rowe@ymca.ca