🍎 Health Hack: It All Begins at Breakfast

“A fiber- and protein-rich breakfast may fend off hunger pangs for longer and provide the energy you need to keep your exercise going.  Follow these tips for eating a healthy breakfast: Instead of eating sugar-laden cereals made from refined grains, try oatmeal, oat bran, or other whole-grain cereals that are high in fiber. Then, throw in some protein, such as milk, yogurt, or chopped nuts. 

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Health Hack: Guard Against a Silent Stroke

Your chances of having a stroke go up if you have high blood pressure or irregular heartbeat.

Lifestyle changes can help lower your chance of stroke and heart disease. Make a plan to adopt these healthy habits:

Keep tabs on your blood pressure, and get it under control if it’s too high.

Check your cholesterol.

Keep your blood sugar at the right levels.

If you smoke, quit.

82546D71-B040-4A31-B955-FDFF4B22DA58Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Cut back on saturated fats (found in red meat, for example), salt, and sugar.

Get regular exercise.

Keep to a healthy weight.

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Health Hack: #4 of Life’s Simple 7 for Optimal Cardiovascular Health

Get Off the Sofa and Get Active. Your Heart Says, “Thank You!”

#4. Be physically active. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity (or a combination) each week.

Source: American Heart Association

Stress Hack: Run Away From Stress

“When you exercise, your brain and nervous system produce more endorphins, which are essentially natural antidepressants— neurotransmitters that make you feel good. Even better, any form of exercise can create this effect, so it doesn’t matter whether you lift weights, jog on the treadmill, or play pickup basketball. As long as you break a sweat, you’ll get this high. There are two other ways that exercise help you squash stress. First, according to the Mayo Clinic, focusing on the tasks associated with training or playing a sport will help you forget about your problems and leave you with a greater sense of calm and clarity. Second, working out relaxes you and boosts your chances of a good night’s sleep, which is another key to fighting stress, anxiety, and depression.”

Source: Muscle and Fitness: Mar2019, Vol. 80 Issue 3, p94-100.

Longevity Tip: Who Says You’re Too Old

Louisiana native Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins, 103, will shock you with her athletic ability. “At 100, I started running. I thought it would be neat to run at 100 and do the 100-yard dash in less than a minute!” Hawkins said. She ran the 100-meter dash at the National Senior Games in 46.07 seconds, winning the gold medal. Her story is gaining so much national attention that everyone wants a picture with the gold medalist. “I hope I’m inspiring them to be healthy and realize you can still be doing it at this kind of an age if you keep yourself busy and active through your life,” Hawkins said.

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Nutrition Hack: Fuel Up for Exercise

“Eating a healthy breakfast is especially important on days when exercise is on your agenda. Skipping breakfast can leave you feeling lightheaded or lethargic while you’re working out. Choosing the right kind of breakfast is crucial. . . . A plain white bagel or doughnut won’t keep you feeling full for long. A fiber- and protein-rich breakfast may fend off hunger pangs for longer and provide the energy you need to keep your exercise going.”

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Fitness Hack: A Surprising Connection Between Pushups & Heart Health

In a 10-year study published in February, researchers reported that men who can do 40 pushups have a whopping 96% lower risk of heart disease than guys who can’t muster 10. The average man in the study: Nearly 40 years old and overweight, but not obese. All 1,562 men were physically active firefighters rather than office workers. The study’s results strengthen the case that muscle-building promotes heart health. “Resistance training is super important,” says Kaiser Permanente sports medicine specialist Robert E. Sallis, MD, who was not involved in the study. “It seems to have the same benefits as cardiovascular exercise.”

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Health Hack: Step it Up

“Being active also is important to a healthy lifestyle. And it’s important in preventing serious problems like heart disease and diabetes. However, before you increase your activity level, talk to your doctor. Your weight is determined by the balance between the energy you take in (what you eat and drink) and the energy you use (physical activity). Every step counts. Studies have shown that every step you take helps you manage your weight and improve your overall health. You may want to track your steps with a step counter (pedometer) or an activity tracker. This can encourage you to increase your daily activity. The more steps you take per day, the better.”

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