DO YOU HAVE THE HEART OF A CHAMPION?
By Luigi Gratton, M.D., M.P.H.
Want to enjoy a long, active life full of energy and vitality? You’ll have to put your heart into it. Maintaining a strong, healthy cardiovascular system is essential to your overall health and quality of life. So why wait? Start making life choices today that will give you the heart of a champion–and the life of a winner. Hereare a few ideas to get you started:
1. STEP UP YOUR GAME
Get your body moving. Studies show that moderate physical activity can strengthen the heart. Regularexercise–jogging, weight lifting, playing sports–is key to a healthy heart and a rich and fulfilling life. Not interested in playing sports or joining a gym? Try walking. Taking 6,000 to 10,000 steps every day is terrific for your heart. A pedometer, available at any sporting-goods store, can help you keep track of your steps throughout the day. Try different types of exercise, find the ones you really enjoy, and make them a regular part of your life.
2. EAT LIKE A WINNER
Forget the fast food. Junk the junk food. Create a heart-healthy diet. That means healthy protein, healthy fatty acids like Omega-3s, lots of water and plenty of fruits and vegetables. The way you eat is important, too. So don’t skip meals. Schedule regular times for meals and snacks. And try not to eat anything within a few hours of going to bed.
3. REST, RECHARGE AND REJUVENATE
And speaking of going to bed… it’s time to get some shut-eye. Sleep deprivation has been linked to anincreased risk of heart problems. We’re busy people, and it can be tempting to shave off an hour or two of sleep to “be more productive.” Resist that temptation. Think of it this way:For eight hours of every day of your life, the most productive activity you can engage in for your health is sleeping. So, have a good night–and you’ll have a great life.
HEART OF THE MATTER
By Luigi Gratton, M.D., M.P.H.
There are nearly 100,000 miles of arteries, veins and capillaries in your body. They allow nutrient-rich bloodto nourish the cells and organs of your body. But when they’re blocked, it can result in heart attack orstroke, the #1 and #3 leading causes of death in the United States.
Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease. Your heart health alone is reason enough to lose any extraweight you’re carrying. But is there anything else you can do to support your heart health?
Take a closer look at the food choices you’re making. It’s also important to eat enough protein to maintain or build your lean muscle mass, and watch your intake of “good fats” and “bad fats.” Fish is a good sourceof Omega-3 fatty acids–“good fats” that are essential for heart health.
Make sure to include plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables in a nutrient-rich diet. Some foods are considered particularly heart healthy–garlic, almonds and certain fruits and vegetables. A great way tochoose your fruits and vegetables is to use color as a guide. In general, the deeper the color, the more nutrient-rich it is. Different colors in dicate variety of nutrients. See the chart below for the phytonutrientseach provides:
It’s often difficult to get all the nutrients you need from your diet alone, especially when you’re watching portion sizes and calories. And with our busy lifestyles, we’re often tempted to reach for fast food, which is often unhealthy food. That’s why so many people have discovered the benefits of supplementation. If you’re not meeting your daily requirements through food, supplements can fill in the gaps in your diet, insuring that you’re getting all the nutrients you need.
Losing weight is one of the most important steps you can take for your cardiovascular health. But don’t stop there. Make sure you’re doing everything you can–eat right, exercise, get regular checkups and take supplements.
HEART TO HEART
By Lou Ignarro, Ph.D.
HEART HEALTH IS A GLOBAL CONCERN
Heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans today. According to the American Heart Association’s estimates,1.2 million Americans will have a first or recurrent heart attack in 2008; approximately 452,000 will die as a result.
Worldwide, heart disease kills approximately 17 million people per year–that’s almost one third of all deathsglobally. The Atlas of Heart Diseas e and Stroke, released by the World Health Organization, estimates that by 2020, heart disease and stroke will be the leading cause of both death and disability, with thenumber of fatalities projected to increase to more than 20 million a year.
In Mexico, heart disease has been the leading cause of death for the last 20 years, while in Europe, cardiovascular disease kills 4 million people each year. About half of the world’s cases of cardiovasculardisease occur in the Asia Pacific region; 1.3 million people die of cardiovascular disease annually in Russia; and, according to a study released by the New England Journal of Medicine, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in China.
While these statistics paint a bleak picture, they also present a huge opportunity to promote the benefitsof a healthy, active lifestyle. When I think about optimal cardiovascular health, here’s what comes to mind:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Making sure you get lots of antioxidants from your diet (fruits and vegetables) and through supplementation
- Participating in some form of aerobic exercise on a daily basis
- Making sure you are well hydrated and get plenty of sleep–much of the repair and regenerative work of the body occurs while we sleep
Additionally, taking Herbalife’s Niteworks® dietary supplement powder mix helps promote Nitric Oxide (NO) levels and maintain blood pressure in the normal range. Herbalife® Core Complex softgels target four key indicators of heart health: cholesterol, triglycerides, homocysteine and oxidative stress.