We have all heard the "word" about the need to eat better, to exercise, to sleep better, etc. for better health. But any of these will only work if you do. Every diet in the world will work - for a while. But for improved health and longevity, you need to stick with things in the long run. Guess who can help? A health coach, like myself, can get you to your goals and then keep you accountable in keeping you honest to yourself.
For a quick start on your health, did you KNOW that these 5 things drive at least 70% of health issues in the US?
Want to know more or work with me on these?
Contact me for a free, no obligation consultation.
Know Your Blood Pressure - For optimal health, 115/75 is where it should be. However, the new blood pressure guidelines put almost half of all American adults in the "high blood pressure" category (tripling the number for men under 45 and doubling it for women of the same age group) and most of the people at risk are walking around without even knowing it. (1)
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to complications including:
Heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure can cause hardening and thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other complications.
Aneurysm. Increased blood pressure can cause your blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening.
Heart failure. To pump blood against the higher pressure in your vessels, the heart has to work harder. This causes the walls of the heart's pumping chamber to thicken (left ventricular hypertrophy). Eventually, the thickened muscle may have a hard time pumping enough blood to meet your body's needs, which can lead to heart failure. (2)
Lack of Exercise - A new government study (3) estimates that nearly 80 percent of adult Americans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week, potentially setting themselves up for years of health problems, such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, or developing heart disease and even some cancers.
It is recommended that adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, or a combination of both. Adults should also engage in muscle-strengthening activities at least twice per week.
Exercise, or rather moving around, has many health benefits, both physical and mental. I usually say even 30 minutes of walking a day is better than just sitting on the couch (which can, by the way, shorten your life).
Healthy Diet - there are many confusing facts and articles around what is a healthy diet. The easiest answer is that it is not that easy. I work with people on what works best for their particular body, age, lifestyle, goals, it's a concept referred to as bio-individuality.
If you've even experienced that "so and so" lost so much weight on diet X and you lost nothing, it was because that particular diet wasn't right for you. I work with my clients to not only figure out the healthiest diet for THEM, but also, work on strategies that will make it a lifestyle and not just a diet.
Sleep and Stress - did you know that both of these can impact your health in very big ways? I have a really great lecture that focuses on both of these topics and how it effects your cognitive health (for a free summary of this presentation, contact me here) but know that maintaining adequate amounts of quality sleep is essential to optimal health and well-being.
When you sleep, your internal organs rest and recover, your hormones that regulate appetite, growth, metabolism, and more, are released, and finally, memory consolidation occurs which is essential for learning new information.
Optimal sleep for adults is 7-9 hours, but nobody should sleep less than 6 hours as anything less than that doesn't allow for all the critical functions to take place. People tell me all the time, oh I can do it on a lot less. It may feel like it now, but rest assured (pun intended) that the lack of sleep will catch up with you in a scary way down the line - hello cognitive health problems!
As for stress, did you know that 60-80% of all primary care physician visits have a stress-related component? To say the least, it is a BIG problem. If your body is constantly getting stress signals for everyday issues (such as work-related anxiety), and stress reactions are too strong or triggered too often, your body will remain on high alert, causing chronic stress.
Look at all the ways chronic, ongoing stress affects the body!
As a result of constant stress, your body builds up a resistance and tolerance to coexist with continuous stressors. This extended release of stress hormones has adverse effects on your body, lowering your immunity defenses and making you more susceptible to illness.
To reduce stress, practice calming activities (like yoga, or tai chi), practice breathing exercises, cut your caffeine, get a massage, or my favorite, learn to meditate!
If you have a question on ANY of these lifestyle solutions, contact me, I'd be happy to guide you down the path of health and wellness.