This month's issue titled, "The Heart of a Healthy Lifestyle", discusses how regular physical activity, quitting smoking and weight control are three lifestyle habits that can reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Exercise: "To gain the health benefits of exercise -according to the DHHS Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans- adults need at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity OR at least 1.25 hours of vigorous aerobic activity a week AND muscle strengthening activities at least 2 days a week."
Smoking: It causes coronary heart disease. It causes lung cancer. It makes your clothes smell. And if you live in a part of the country that experiences harsh winters like Chicago, you risk catching pneumonia every time you head outside in subzero temperatures to have a smoke. "The adverse health effects from smoking account for 1 of every 5 American deaths each year." Bottom line...quit now!
Weight Control: "About two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight, and almost one-third are obese." Now that's something to cry about! "A healthy diet and active lifestyle are your best weapons to control your weight." To find out if you're at a healthy weight, visit http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing and calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). Another indicator of whether or not you're a healthy weight is your waist circumference. Excessive abdominal fat has been linked to several obesity related conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men with a waist circumference exceeding 40 inches and females with a waist circumference exceeding 35 inches are at a higher risk for conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Other online sources available to help you assess your health, and guide you toward heart-healthier choices include:
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