Q: Mr. Pedometer, my family tree has been severely “pruned” by heart disease. What are some ideas to help me avoid that kind of health problem?
A: A recent Sunday newspaper insert cited tips from the Cleveland Clinic heart health studies. Here are some of their suggestions:
- Go meatless for one meal a week. (And, of course, practice portion control at ALL meals.)
- Take the stairs whenever possible (even if it’s just for one floor).
- Fight for the farthest parking spot, not the closest.
- Stand up often (at least once per hour). “Being sedentary is so dangerous for your heart that studies show even regular exercisers who sit for prolonged periods have a heightened risk of dying for many causes.” Set a time to remind you to get up once an hour to stretch or move around. You might also try switching to a standing desk.
Of course, Mr. Pedometer cannot resist adding that you can use a pedometer to help you track not just steps, but perhaps more importantly, to keep track of how much activity time you include in each day. Aim for 30-60 minutes of movements per day. (Most people are surprised to see that they average only 35minutes of activity during their waking hours!)
Let us repeat: EAT RIGHT, MOVE MORE, BE WELL.