STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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According to research published in The Gerontologist in March 2016, dog walkers had better health than non-dog walkers, including fewer chronic health conditions, lower body mass index (BMI), fewer limitations on activities of daily living and fewer doctor visits.


Try Other Exercises

Once you are comfortable with the walking aspect of cardiovascular activity, it may be time for you to try other forms of exercise such as biking or swimming. You can also try using cardiovascular exercise equipment such as an elliptical or a Stairmaster machine.


Research shows 80 percent of heart disease can be pre-vented. Other stud-ies prove individuals who participate in regular cardiovascu-lar exercise live lon-ger than those who don’t. Make it your mission to live a longer heart healthy life, but be sure to check with your primary care physician before beginning any exercise program, especially if you have been inactive for a while.

Heart disease kills millions of Americans each year. It is the leading cause of death for both men and women. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease (CAD), which leads to heart attacks. One way to reduce your risk of CAD is to make some lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating, stress management and physical activity.


Physical activity is an essential part of being heart healthy. The American Heart Association (AHA) says you need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. This includes walking, biking or any other activity you enjoy that gets you up and moving. Physical activity can improve your overall quality of life and reduces your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 30 percent to 40 percent, according to the AHA.


One form of physical activity is cardiovascular exercise. Cardio means “heart” and vascular means “vessels that circulate fluids.  ” Cardiovascular exercise increases your heart rate, which then increases the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body. It is important to get your heart rate up and pump- ing faster on a regular basis. This will help keep your heart healthy and help you avoid getting tired and experiencing shortness of breath from simple daily activities.

CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE IMPROVES WOMEN’S HEART HEALTH

TANIQUA WARD, M.S.

TaNiqua Ward is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by taniqua ward

One of the easiest ways to start incorporating cardiovascular exercise into your daily routine is walking. Walking is an inexpensive and safe form of exercise. Walking as few as 30 minutes a day can give you numerous health benefits, including lowering your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Here are a few tips to start a walking routine:


Begin with Short Distances

Start off walking just five to10 minutes a day and gradually increase your distance and time as you feel more comfortable.


Pay Attention to Heart Rate and Breathing

Walk at a pace that challenges you and increases your heart rate, but don’t overdo it. Try not to get short of breath. You should still be able to talk and carry on a conversation while you are walking.


Walk with Someone

Find a walking buddy. You’ll have someone to socialize with while on walks as well as someone to hold you accountable. Or you can walk with your dog.