Heart Your Heart This Year

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Heart

One of the most popular resolutions we make is to get healthier in the New Year. It’s also one of the most difficult ones to keep, since a combination of work stress, routine and temptation often combine to knock us out of our early-year healthy lifestyle routines. But for those of you who are determined to shape up and get healthy in the New Year, here are some guidelines for success – courtesy of Dole and Family Features:

Strike a balance. Take a simpler approach to the traditional idea of “dieting.” Balance calories in versus calories out with a combination of good food choices, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and regular exercise, such as walking or hiking. Incorporate low-calorie, naturally fat-free foods into your diet, such as new Dole Red Grapefruit Sunrise Fruit Bowls, which bring all-natural fruit together with 100 percent juice. They are a great way to start the day or just enjoy as a delicious snack. Grapefruit naturally offers a plentiful source of nutrients, including phosphorus, potassium and vitamins A and C.

Watch the middle. According to the Mayo Clinic, that extra weight you carry around the mid-section can cause serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Work to keep this common problem area in check by reducing caloric intake and increasing physical activity.

Skip the stress. While a little stress is part of being human, too much can be taxing on the heart. Find activities that engage your mind and naturally relieve stress such as knitting, crafting or working on a puzzle.

Dine in the a.m. Don’t let a rushed morning routine get in the way of enjoying a heart-healthy breakfast. A complete morning meal includes a combination of whole grains, protein, and fruits or vegetables. For a convenient, on-the-go option, throw an individually-sealed cup of Dole Red Grapefruit Sunrise in your laptop bag or purse. Each cup contains peak-of-ripeness, wholesome, peeled grapefruit and allows you to enjoy grapefruit all year around. Plus, they’re gluten free, contain no GMOs (genetically modified or engineered ingredients) or artificial sweeteners, and feature BPA-free packaging.

Drink more water. For your body to function properly, it needs the right amount of hydration. According to the Institute of Medicine, the average required intake for a male is about 13 cups, while a female requires about 9 cups. Switch out sodas and sugary drinks with water to reap its benefits, and to shave off extra “empty” calories that may contribute to weight gain.

Get routine exams. A yearly doctor’s examination keeps you more informed of your body’s ever-changing status, and it keeps your health care provider in the loop, too. Educate yourself and understand the import numbers for your heart, including blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides.

We’ll second the advice about dining early, and add one more health tip:

Get Enough Sleep. Getting less than 7 hours of sleep each night can seriously impair your health. If you can’t sleep through the night, try to get a nap during the day.

Remember: simple things can have a big impact on your ability to keep those New Year’s resolutions. Things like a brisk walk each day, smaller portions and a good night’s sleep can be necessary ingredients for a dramatically improved year. Good luck!

 

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