Yes, you can Prevent a Stroke.
It starts with some simple things to do and don’t do.
80% of strokes can be prevented. Age, family history, and ethnicity factors cannot be controlled.
You can reduce your chances of a stroke by taking simple steps – Monitor your blood pressure, see your health care provider for evaluation and possibly medications to get to a healthy number.
Other ways to prevent a stroke:
1) Don’t smoke
2) Get tested for diabetes
3) Get your cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked
4) Maintain a healthy weight
5) Limit alcohol to one drink per day
6) Lower your stress levels
Did you know that certain risk factors can increase your chances of having a stroke?
Here are guidelines to follow to help you prevent a stroke:
Identify – Review your risk factors and identify your personal risk.
Reduce your risk factors – Work to reduce your stroke risk by lifestyle changes and possibly necessary medication.
Recognize and Respond – Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke. Memorize the four points of the “FAST” symptoms shown below.
F – FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A – ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S – SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T – TIME: If you observe any of these signs, Call 9-1-1 Immediately.
You may have identified personal risk factors. If so, work with your healthcare provider to reduce your personal risk.
Some risk factors for stroke are simply not controllable. Learn more about the age, gender, ethnicity, and other factors that are most at risk for stroke.
Most people enjoy the holidays, because it’s generally a festive and fun time of the year! It’s also one of the busiest! There are lots of parties to attend, social events to plan, family get-togethers, shopping to be done, and cookies to be baked. Add seasonal weather to the mix, finances, cold and flu season and a super long “to-do” list and this time of year can also take a big toll on our health. With all the fun and celebrating it’s easy to forget ourselves sometimes, but it’s so important to remember to take good care of yourself and remain heart healthy during these stressful and busy weeks!
Here are some easy tips to lessen the stress, strengthen your heart and be heart healthy this holiday season.
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff (or the big stuff)
No doubt, all of us have long to-do lists this time of year. Sometimes you can plan way ahead and still not have things work out like you planned. It’s ok! Learn to be gentle on yourself, and when things get overwhelming, force yourself to simplify. Scale back your to-do list. Delegate some errands to your partner, children or friends. Space out your shopping and baking, and don’t overbook your schedule with events and social gatherings. Take deliberate time out of your day to relax and regroup. Force yourself to take a nap! What’s important is that you aren’t stressing yourself out needlessly. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that less is more!
2. Sneak in some exercise
Just because you’re “busy” doesn’t mean you’re staying active. Sometimes the cold weather keeps us from our regular exercise routines, and the stress of the holidays can also cause us to overeat and hibernate on the couch a little too long! Park a little farther when you’re out shopping to add some steps to your day. Walk around the mall a little longer than you have to. Dance in the kitchen to Christmas songs on the radio while doing the dishes. Stressful day? Pull out the yoga mat and do some deep breathing and stretching in the evening. Just be sure that you are mindful about moving your body through the Winter months. Your heart will thank you!
3. Be wise about portion control
We are literally surrounded this time of year by rich food and alcohol. Sometimes it’s easy to justify a little gluttony when you’re “celebrating”, but when you’ve been celebrating for 2 months, you can come out the other side 15 pounds heavier and with a higher cholesterol count if you’re not careful! Treating yourself is ok, but always make sure the bulk of your calories are coming from real, unprocessed foods. Fill up on the healthy stuff first, and you’ll feel less inclined to eat a sample of every dessert.
4. Make sure you’re getting enough rest
Insomnia and sleepless nights can take their toll on our bodies when we constantly have lists of things we need to do going through our brains. Sometimes it feels impossible to shut it off. One good tip is writing down everything you need to do the next day. If you have it on paper, sometimes it’s easier for the brain to let it go. Take time to relax each evening with a good book, a warm bath or a warm drink. Try to stay away from electronics in the late evening, and make sure you’re room isn’t too warm. These are helpful for a good night’s sleep. No matter how busy you are, always aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. A well rested body is a healthy body and helps keep the heart healthy! According to Dr. Mercola, there are definitely consequences of not getting enough sleep!
5. A joyful heart is a happy heart
There’s a lot to be said about having a positive outlook and being of good cheer. Not only can a good attitude benefit those around us, but it can keep our blood pressure from rising and keep stress away too! There’s a direct correlation between mental and physical health, so keep your mind positive. Look for ways to serve others, and look for the good in every situation and your whole body will thank you!
Stay heart healthy and ‘heart happy’ during the holidays!
So many of us look forward to Thanksgiving with anticipation of friends and family gathering around for a delicious meal as well as good, lively conversation.
However, some people may actually dread the holiday and see it as a lonely and disappointing time because they are going through a bad time in their life. Tough times don’t take a holiday! For them, Thanksgiving may be the beginning of a long string of “holiday blues” because Christmas is close behind.
Here are ideas to shed a different light on the holiday season and calm the Thanksgiving blues for others and will make you feel good as well.
Write a card or note of thanks. We all would love to hear words of thanks! Write a quick note, send an email, or make a phone call. Simply say “Thanks for being you!” or “Glad you’re in my life!” Thanksgiving is the perfect time to let them know!
Share your Thanksgiving meal. An invitation to Thanksgiving dinner is a great way to include others. Do check to see if they have food preferences or restrictions. Extend the invitation ASAP. Sometimes, just anticipating the fun is as enjoyable as the real event.
Deliver a Thanksgiving meal. If a person is too sick or too sad to join you for Thanksgiving dinner, deliver the meal to them. This can be for one person or rally others to contribute to a Thanksgiving dinner with a side dish or dessert and deliver meals to several people. Deliver the meal with a caring note, heating instructions, and a hug. If time doesn’t allow for this, just deliver a piece of your favorite pie.
Plan something fun to do over Thanksgiving weekend. Take some of the loneliness out of the weekend by going on a shopping spree, seeing a holiday blockbuster movie, skiing or ice skating, or watching a football game. Each town has its own fun activities so check online or in the newspaper for ideas.
Involve the kids. Help them create a Thanksgiving Day greeting card for a shut in. Provide craft supplies and let the kids create! Then, have them deliver their homemade cards.
Help with holiday decorations. Make someone’s home a bit cheerier by helping with Thanksgiving decorations. Don’t forget to help take them down at the end of the season.
Make a visit to the hospital or home. Illness doesn’t take a break just because it’s Thanksgiving. If appropriate, provide something fun to do, or if time allows, watch a game, movie, or parade. A short visit will be appreciated as well.
A little extra time and effort will bring a smile to someone going through a rough time. It might just help to ease their Thanksgiving blues. And, it will make you feel better, too!
Help calm the Thanksgiving Blues this year!
Did you know? Jigsaw puzzles help you exercise both the right and left side of the brain. Working a jigsaw puzzle helps keep your brain young!
Your left brain thinks logically and follows sequence while the right brain is creative, intuitive and emotional. When working a jigsaw puzzle, you harness both sides of the brain.
Jigsaw puzzles engage the brain to retain information on shapes and colors in order to choose pieces that will fit together properly.This hunt for pieces requires your brain to memorize what each piece looks like or should look like and what kinds of pieces you are searching for in order to complete the picture. Doing this repeatedly reinforces short-term memory.
This engaging activity:
Interesting facts about jigsaw puzzles!They were first created by an English mapmaker by the name of John Spilsbury in the late 1760’s. He made a puzzle by gluing a map of the world on a piece of wood and cut out the countries. Children would put the pieces together to learn to identify individual countries and their relation to one another. This was much like our puzzles of the United States that we all worked on when we were growing up.
Thus, jigsaw puzzles were originally invented for education instead of entertainment. Jigsaw puzzles are now loved by people of all ages. Jigsaw puzzles became a form of daily amusement and activity for adults in the early 1900’s. However, they were quite expensive ($5 for a 500-piece puzzle in 1908). By the time of the Great Depression in the early 1930’s, they became more reasonable in price. In fact, 10 million puzzles were sold per week during this time in history. This was an escape from the troubles of the Depression years.
1) Canteloupe – One serving has just 46 calories and nearly a day’s worth of vitamins A & C. It’s also a very good source of potassium. Eating it raw or making a fruit salad with a little feta and mint makes a delicious summer lunch.
2) Zucchini – Wow, only 29 calories in one cup and is high in fiber, vitamins A, C and K and also potassium. It also adds bulk and substance to your diet. Zucchini is versatile in that it can be grilled, eaten raw, stuffed, made into chips or used to replace noodles in homemade lasagna.
3) Eggplant – This purple beauty is a good source of vitamins B6 & K as well as being a very good source of fiber. It is also low in calories and contains antioxidants that fight disease. The purple color is a cue that it will benefit the heart and memory. Prepare it sautéed, grilled or cubed in a stir fry or on a sandwich.
4) Blackberries – Blackberries are a good source of potassium and vitamins E, C, K & manganese. They are also loaded with fiber and antioxidants. Other benefits include protecting the heart and lowering blood pressure. They add a nice taste to a glass of ice water or seltzer or add them to salads. Blackberries are popular in baked goods as well.
5) Yellow Summer Squash – This is also known as “crookneck or straightneck” squash. It is rich in fiber, vitamins C, K, and potassium and has very few calories. Prepare it grilled, in a summer soup or be creative and use it as a pizza topping.
A culinary tip: A grilling basket or tray is a very easy way to prepare veggies alongside your main meal on the grill. It makes for easy clean up and no mess in the kitchen!
Let us know which summer super foods are your favorite…Comment Below
Read more here: Super Foods
Eat Plenty of Summer Super Foods for a Healthier Diet!
Has it ever occurred to you how distracted and stressed we have become as a society and how we could live a happier life? We have lost the ability to slow down and appreciate the good things in life. Perhaps we have forgotten how simple it is to embrace the moment, be grateful, and to find happiness no matter our current situation.
A local blogger recently made a list of 101 ways to live a happier life on her blog, and every single one of them resonated with us. They are things many of us already do, and some of them we plan on implementing moving forward. Our hope in sharing the first 25 items of ways to live a happier life is that it will inspire others to choose happiness despite the stress of the world around us!
For the complete list of the ways to live a happier life, Click Here.
For more Healthy Living, Click Here.
What would you add to the list of living a Happier Life?
Want to keep your heart healthy? Finally! We’ve been looking for a valid reason to justify the afternoon nap and now we have it. This is especially helpful for the Over 50 population.
Researchers at the European Society of Cardiology conference in London stated that that an hour or more nap has important health benefits. It can cut blood pressure and lower the chance of a heart attack or stroke. It also contributes to people taking fewer blood pressure medications. What a great way to keep your heart healthy!
Lead researcher, Dr Manolis Kallistratos, a cardiologist at Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Athens, Greece, said, “Two influential UK prime ministers were supporters of the midday nap. Winston Churchill said that we must sleep some time between lunch and dinner while Margaret Thatcher didn’t want to be disturbed around 3pm. According to our study, they were right because midday naps seem to lower blood pressure levels. They may also probably decrease the number of required anti-hypertensive medications.”
He added: “Μidday sleep is a habit that nowadays is almost a privileged due to a nine to five working culture and intense daily routine. However the real question regarding this habit is: is it only a custom or is it also beneficial?”
The findings of the study suggest that midday sleepers have less damage from high blood pressure in their arteries and heart,” according to Dr Kallistratos.
The study showed that midday sleep is associated with lower blood pressure. It also found that longer ‘sleeps’ are even more beneficial. It’s interesting that the midday sleepers had greater dips in blood pressure while sleeping at night. This is associated with better health outcomes.
Patients who slept during the midday were under fewer anti-hypertension medications compared to those who didn’t have their midday nap.
The conclusion was that the midday nap is associated with lower 24 hour blood pressure as well as a fall of BP at night. This results in less damage to the arteries and the heart.
The longer the midday nap, the lower the systolic BP levels and probably fewer drugs needed to lower BP.”
Of course, there is balance in all things. You should still make daily exercise and healthy eating a priority. But, it’s nice to know we can reward ourselves with some rest on a daily basis!
So, if you can, make naps a priority in your daily schedule, and if you really need an excuse, tell people you are doing it for your health!
More Healthy Living: Mood Swings
Over 50? Indulge in a nap to keep your heart healthy!
Would you believe that some foods have more sugar than a candy bar?
First of all, did you know that a Snickers Bar has 27 grams of sugar in it?
Whoa…that’s maybe a “once a year” treat! Let’s not stop there because there are 5 seemingly healthy foods (and we could add 100’s more) that have even more sugar than your favorite candy bar.
Here’s the list:
1) Jamba Juice Banana Berry Smoothie (small) Would you believe…60 grams of sugar—that’s huge! “Make it Light” decreases sugar to 32 grams which is still too many.
2) Power Bar Performance Energy Bar in Citrus Burst – Each bar has 29 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein…the citrus contributes little nutrition value.
3) Starbucks Greek Yogurt with Honey Parfait – A “sugar bomb” with 30 grams of sugar. Choose something with fruit which should satisfy your sugar cravings.
4) Craisins – Sugar is added since they are naturally tart. There are 29 grams of sugar in 1/4 cup…better not eat too many!
5) Grape Juice – There is nutritional value to grape juice but it contains a whopping 36 grams for 8 ounces.
The bottom line is Read Labels on all food items so you know what you’re buying. Your healthy lifestyle will thank you for it!
Source: Sugary Foods
Related Post: Healthier Banana Bread
Yes, These Foods Have More Sugar Than a Candy Bar!
Oh, those mood swings that seem to be an inevitable part of our lives!
Did you know you can actually control them so the good days are even better and the bad days aren’t so bad after all? Regardless of your age, surroundings or background, you can reduce your mood swings and increase your overall happiness.
Four proven ways to reduce mood swings and increase your happiness:
1) Diet and Mood Swings – What you eat really does make a difference in how you feel each day, especially your overall mood. Eating lots of fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, high-quality grains and lean protein is a good place to start. Your “happiness baseline” will be higher and you can keep on improving. You can also add dark chocolate and stay away from alcohol, nicotine and sugar for even more success in balancing mood swings.
2) Exercise and Mood Swings – Getting a “runner’s high” is the result of prolonged physical activity because it releases mood-enhancing endorphins. This equates to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise two to three times a week which can have a very positive effect on your overall happiness. Exercise also keeps your body healthier and gives you more energy which lessens the risk of going into a slump.
3) Rest and Mood Swings – We can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting a minimum of six or seven hours of sleep a night. Your body must have sleep to repair itself! Rest also encompasses quiet time in the form of meditation, sitting quietly sipping a warm beverage or any other method of quieting the body and mind without distractions. Our addiction to technology is a major contributor to the stress in America today!
4) Happiness Emphasis and Mood Swings – It is possible to elevate your mood by simple daily exercises.
These bonus tips will help you get started on your way to more happiness and less stress in your life:
Since many parts of the country are still in the grip of winter, this is a great time for bodyweight exercise that you can do in your living room.
Is your gym closed during the only hours you are available to exercise? Enough of the icy roads, bitter temps, and the hassles of getting to the gym.
Bodyweight exercises! This is one of the best routines for in-home exercise.
The advantages of bodyweight exercises are:
1) Workouts are highly efficient. Since they require no equipment, you spend a minimal amount of time transitioning from one exercise to the next.
2) Your own body provides all the resistance needed to help you get fit by addressing every muscle in your body.
3) You can perform hundreds of exercises in a small space that are adapted to your fitness level.
4) Your core strength is improved as well as your flexibility and balance.
5) In-home bodyweight exercise takes care of the issues of inclement weather, time constraints, or boredom from the gym scene…plus it’s free…what a deal!
Just a reminder…if you aren’t using proper form, you can potentially hurt yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a gym or in your own basement. Many people do popular exercises incorrectly, so follow the suggestions in the video for proper form. Enjoy and have a great workout!!
Colorado Springs Over 50
We would love to hear from you on ideas you would like us to investigate and write about.