Healthy Sustainable Lifestyle
September is designated as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. We need to be aware of the risk factors involved in our eating decisions. We will take a look at what we can do to help ourselves and set an example for the younger ones.
We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.
September 17, 2015
Published Weekly Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine
The latest news on our health is to take action when it pertains to our heart so we do not have the risk factors for high blood pressure. To support this:The National Institute of Health (NIH) presently reports that, for people age 50 and older with high blood pressure and at least one other risk factor for heart disease, lowering blood pressure to under 120 mm Hg reduced a combined end point of heart attack, acute coronary syndrome, heart failure and strokes by 30% more than lowering it to 140 mm Hg.In addition, deaths from any cause were reduced by 25% in those treated to reach a goal of 120 mm Hg.The study’s independent data safety and monitoring board called for the study to be halted because of this significant benefit, which clearly outweighed any harm. (1)I started to work on my health a little late in life. Ten years ago, I started to take steps to reduce my weight, increase my stamina, and lower my blood pressure.My blood pressure was not extremely high, but averaged around 125 mm Hg.After taking small steps to reach these goals, I lost 50 lbs and have kept it off for over ten years now.I do not diet; I just made small steps in my lifestyle that accomplished the weight loss.I can also say that my blood pressure now averages about 113 mm Hg.This does not take hours of sweating at the gym but a commitment to small, sustainable steps that can prolong life.
All this means is that I have lowered my risk. I do not always eat as I should, or refrain from unhealthy activities, but overall the idea is to keep in a path that gets you where you would like to be and that is to be around for your family and loved ones.
This is the whole premise around urban farm lifestyle, to incorporate a healthy sustainable lifestyle that helps reduce illness and aging effects that diminish our quality of life.
Think about the children that are overweight, pre-diabetic and prone to heart disease at an early time of life. This is changeable and doable, it just takes small steps.
Step 1: Start measuring you blood pressure on a regular basis. Ignorance is bliss here. Try to take it the same time at least weakly or once a month. I take mine 5 days a week, after I work out and have had breakfast.
Step 2: Measure you waistline. This means more than what you see on the scales, you waistline is an indicator of your health not your wealth. Just because you can or cannot afford to eat and drink healthy, should not show up on your waist as a spare tire or food baby. One of the best tools is a simple tape measure.
Step 3: Stay mobile. You have to move, our bodies are engineered to move. Do mild stretches, get the kinks out, and move around. You do not have to play rugby, but you need to move.
Step 4: Eat less and eat well. Our plates are too big, get a smaller plate so you do not have to feel guilty about cleaning your plate or eating the portions on it.
Eat less and let it hit bottom, wait a few minutes before you think about seconds, then if you want seconds, always take less than the first.
Eat well. Eat fresh and try to stay away from processed foods. The biggest contributor to high blood pressure is our salt (sodium) intake. Our foods are loaded with salt, sugar, and fat. There are all three ingredients that we need to take control of.
Step 5: Try to lower your stress. Stress can cause many ill effects on the human body. Take time to do the things you enjoy and put the stressful parts of life in perspective.
Reconnect with friends and activities that bring relief from the everyday anxieties that come from work, commuting, and everyday stress.
None of these steps are easy. When you look at all the things that pull at our attention, from work to family matters, it is not easy to find the time and energy to change your lifestyle.
To put this all in perspective, it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. This month of September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
Rethink Your Drink 60s
Check It Out!
Bagels: 1 plain bagel = 740 mg 49% of daily max
Hot Dogs: 1 plain hot dog, no toppings = 780 mg 52% of daily max
New York has been home to several high-profile measures to improve people’s health over the past decade, including efforts to eliminate trans fats in restaurants, calorie labeling, and even a push to ban over sized sugary drinks.
Their efforts have paid off, for there are many New Yorkers who are getting healthier!
Source: Menus on the websites of popular New York restaurants
With kids back in school, do your part to help them watch what they eat by
- Eating Healthily
- Brown Bag or Pack their lunch
- Shop for the snacks that are best for them
- Before going to a restaurant, check out the menu online to find a healthy one.
- Watch the school menu and be aware of what your child is eating
- Reduce salt intake
- Read and compare nutrition labels
- Watch out for the salty 6: pizza, breads and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, savory snacks, sandwiches, and cheese.
(1)”Major Hypertension Trial Stopped Early for Positive Benefit with Lower Blood Pressure Control Target.” Major Hypertension Trial Stopped Early for Positive Benefit with Lower Blood Pressure Control Target. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
(2) “Understanding Blood Pressure Readings.” Understanding Blood Pressure Readings. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
(3) “NYC Salt Shake Up.” Blog.heart.org. American Heart Association, n.d. Web.
(4) “The Salty Six – Surprising Foods That Add the Most Sodium to Our Diets – Sodium Break Up.” Sodium Break Up. N.p., 07 Oct. 2014. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
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