Men and women with high blood pressure (over 160/95) have a three times greater chance of developing heart problems, including heart failure or stroke, than those with normal blood pressure (130/85 or lower). We have known since the 1970s that regular physical activity (this includes, but is not limited to ‘exercise’ – think walking to work, gardening, playing with the dog) plays a huge part in reducing blood pressure.
This means that everyone should be making an effort to fit AT LEAST 30 minutes (more is definitely better) into their day. Try these fitness tips to fit exercise into your day – they could give you some good ideas about how to achieve this.
But being physically active is not enough on its own. You also have to be aware of the food you are putting into your body as well. To get maximum benefits for your health you have to consider both nutrition and exercise.
Your diet, no not your diet – I HATE that word! Your choice of food should be based on vegetables, wholegrains, some dairy and some fruit. Choose foods that are colourful and fresh, homegrown or locally sourced is best but frozen can also be good too, so don’t use you location as an excuse not to eat vegetables!
But what if this all seems a bit too hard and you have started to do that “I’ll start next week” thing – you know you do it!!
Well let me tell you this – starting next week is not going to happen. Thats the thing about next week. Its always there, in the future. It never actually comes around does it? Funny that!
You have to start now.
So here are the the ch-ch-ch-changes that you can make RIGHT NOW to your eating habits that will increase the quality of your life and help you live longer…
Right now make a promise to yourself to think twice before indulging in these three foods –
They are high in fat, salt and sugar and we eat too much of them, too often.
If you want to get started on a healthy lifestyle that will reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes then this is a quick and easy way to start.
Just be aware of every time you reach for one of the Ch foods. Just stop and think about it for a moment. Ask yourself “Is this contributing to my balanced eating plan or am I just indulging myself with unnecessary fat intake?”
Be sensible about how much you eat.
- Please remember that the health benefits from chocolate are from 2-3 squares of high quality dark chocolate (over 70%) only a couple of times a week. NOT from a piece of chocolate cake or a snickers or even milk chocolate and a lot of ‘dark’ chocolate. Don’t lie to yourself!
- Chips refers to both kinds – thin cut potato crisps and the chips you eat deep fried with fish, these should be avoided almost all of the time. They are 100% pure naughty!
- Cheese is high in fat and should be consumed in moderation and stay away from processed cheese!
Choosing the right foods most of the time is what to aim for. You don’t want to completely deprive yourself of treats, just make sure that they are just that – treats. This means you eat them occasionally and not every day. A treat isn’t a treat if it is regular, right?