Want to Improve Your Health in the New Year?

Do you simply want to improve your health in the New Year? Do you love food or hate exercise and need to lose weight in 2011? Here are some quick tips for 2011.

Do you simply want to improve your health in the New Year? Do you love food or hate exercise and need to lose weight in 2011? Here are some quick tips for 2011.

10-Minute Rule: We all have 10 minutes to spare for our own well being throughout the day. And 10 minutes 3 times a day would be ideal! Ten minutes of walking around the block or chair squats or even lifting lightweights is healthier than 10 minutes of inactivity. Just get moving to burn calories and know you are worth the extra effort!

Walk & Take Stairs More: Opting to take stairs instead of the elevator is a good choice. It builds leg strength and cardio endurance, and it’s easy because stairs are everywhere. Park your car further away from your destination or get off the metro 1-2 stops early to increase walking time. Every additional minute of activity will get you closer to your goals!

Think 80/20: Building healthy habits starts with making healthy choices 80 percent of the time – choosing to take the stairs versus the elevator; making food choices based on both nutrition and taste, becoming aware of proper serving sizes and drinking water instead of soda. The remaining 20 percent of the time, allow for treats and take it easy. Make your health a priority.

Chair Squats: Using a chair in the office or at home, repeat unassisted standing up and sitting down in a controlled manner. This works the core, legs and balance. And your ability to perform this exercise can determine your quality of life as you age.

Defy Perfection: Fitness success is not defined by perfection. We all make mistakes, and falling off the fitness bandwagon is inevitable. But that doesn’t mean we’ve failed and can’t quickly resume a commitment to being healthy. The only failure is giving up entirely.

We all have weaknesses, Allow for treats when accomplishing goals, but regard calories as currency. It works for me, and it will work for YOU! Remember that you are creating an environment that makes living a healthy lifestyle easier.

It is never too late to improve your health and your future quality of life. Remember you only get 1 body in this life. Take responsibility for your health today, and use your power of choice to create a healthy and fit body to last a lifetime.

High Blood Pressure: Why You Shouldn't Ignore This Silent Killer

About one in five people have high blood pressure and they don't even know it

For those of you who love murder mysteries, there just may be a silent killer wreaking havoc inside of you. Untreated hypertension, or high blood pressure, can go undetected for a long period of time, mainly because most people with elevated blood pressure do not experience any symptoms. In fact, about one in five people with high blood pressure are walking around unaware that they even have high blood pressure. Left untreated, hypertension can place you at a significantly increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms tearing open, heart failure, kidney failure, blockages in your legs, dementia, vision problems including blindness, and sexual dysfunction (I bet that last one got some of your attention).

How to Read Your Blood Pressure Numbers

Your blood pressure is made up of two numbers. The top number, called the systolic blood pressure, is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart contracts. The bottom number, the diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart relaxes. Both numbers are important and should be monitored. As people age, both numbers tend to increase, mainly due to increased stiffness in large vessels. Frighteningly, many studies have demonstrated that just a 20 mm Hg (units used for blood pressure) increase in the systolic number, or a 10 mm Hg increase in the diastolic number, doubles one's risk of death from heart disease or stroke.

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