Heart Disease Risk Factors Can be Avoided
One of the problems with just about every heart disease risk factor is that we find those habits desirable. By nature, many of us do not like to deny ourselves anything, simply because we see it as losing something of value. One trick of moving away from risk factors is to reward yourself with something in the place of that bad habit that you are about to break. The following tips will help you get the idea.
The Way We Eat
One key risk factor is the way we eat. Often, our diet involves way too much red meat, spices with high sodium content, lack of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. Instead of bemoaning the fact that you can’t have a big fat juicy hamburger, loaded with dill pickles and a large order of fries, use this as an opportunity to try an Indian or Thai dish that either uses lean meats or tofu in it. You may be surprised at how well some of these mixtures suit your taste buds, plus you get the chance to try some spices that do not include salt. Once you get used to going with lean meats and using spices other than salt to season your food, you may find that the hamburger is not such a big deal after all.
Lack of Exercise
Lack of exercise is another bad habit we need to back away from. We excuse ourselves, saying we don’t have time or can’t afford a gym membership. The fact is if you have time to hit the drive-through window at the local fast food joint, you have time to take a thirty minute walk.
To make the walk more pleasant, take along some music or get your significant other or a friend to walk with you. Vary your route, so you do not see the same sights day after day. In time, you will find those walks are something you look forward to and will consider adding some other forms of exercise to your list.
Smoking is one high risk factor that we just don’t want to give up. We know it is bad for us, but at the same time we love that first cigarette in the morning, as well as the one after lunch, the mid-afternoon break, and of course the one we have before turning in for the night.
Here’s the reality of the situation. Your first several days, you will feel as if your heart is going to beat right out of your chest, your head will feel as if it is about to explode, your nerves and emotions will be shot. But then, something miraculous will happen. The air will begin to taste sweeter, as will the food you eat. As the nicotine slowly works out of your system, you will feel a vitality that you have not experienced in years. Slowly, you will begin to enjoy many little things in ways that you took for granted before. As you wean off the cigarettes, you will find all sorts of sensations that you had forgotten completely about. As for men who give up smoking, you may find that intimacy never felt so good. How’s that for a trade-off?
Don’t focus on the things you have to give up. Instead, focus on all the new things you will gain by cutting loose of your bad habits. Your heart and your whole life will improve greatly. Forget the word “denial” when thinking about any heart disease risk factor that you need to remove from your life.