Week 9: Tone Up Your Ticker
Suss out your silent saboteurs: You can’t necessarily feel it when your blood pressure, cholesterol of blood sugar is high. (One in three adults have hypertension
but only 80 percent of them are aware of it, the American Heart Association says). However, those three stealth markers are
what contribute to most heart attacks and strokes. See your physician to get baseline checks and to gauge where you are each
Cut back on trans fats: Considered the worst kind of fat you can consume, trans fat—created when oils are made solid—are found mainly in fried fast foods and commercially made baked goods, like packaged cookies and cakes. Calorie for calorie, trans fats appear to increase the risk of heart disease more than any other micronutrient, according to a review in The New England Journal of Medicine. Carefully scan food labels to steer clear—the fats frequently are listed as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.”
Stop smoking: Smoking is the No. 1 preventable cause of disease, disability and death. Consider bridge therapies including nicotine-replacement gums, lozenges and patches, as well as medications. Also check out becomeanex.org, when you can formulate a personal quit plan and tap into an online community for support. To speak with a smoking cessation counselor, dial the National Cancer Institute’s smoking quit line, 877-448-7848, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Photo Credit: Flickr / Administrador Galeria Uninter