Heart-disease risk is influenced by lifestyle choices and there have been various dietary recommendations throughout the years. Rather than become frustrated or confused, consider adopting these practical changes.
• Eat less-processed foods. Instead, eat foods as close to their original form as possible: whole grains rather than refined, fresh vegetables rather than canned and whole fruit rather than juice or smoothies.
• Fill half your plate with veggies. Vary the color and take advantage of those that are in season.
• Include fruit. Learn to use it as a sweet treat, avoiding processed bakery goods and confections.
• Eat healthy fats. Include nuts and avocados, and use both olive and canola oils.
• Make almost all your grains whole. Select steel-cut or rolled oats for breakfast, include bulgur, rice, whole-grain couscous or pasta as sides, and select bread and crackers made from whole grains.
— Club Dietitian Cindy Farricker
BEAT DRY SKIN
There's no tougher time for your skin than in the winter. Cold weather leeches water from your body, making your hands, arms and legs appear scaly. To treat your parched skin, make sure to apply moisturizer throughout the day. Experts say it's most affective when applied before dryness symptoms occur. Try using lotion three to six times a day for the best results. Small bottles of Phytomer Ultra-Nourishing Body Cream—perfect when on the go during busy winter vacations—can be purchased in the Spa.
–Spa Director Katie Greenwood
NOT JUST THE WINTER BLUES
Depression can happen anytime, but some people feel it most during late fall or winter months when there's less sunlight. Seasonal affective disorder, SAD, often results in low energy, appetite changes, excessive sleepiness, hopelessness and lack of motivation to participate in daily activities.
Fortunately, light therapy, talk therapy and medications are safe and effective treatment options. If you think you may be suffering from depression or SAD, see your doctor.
MAKE TIME TO UNWIND
This time of year is exhausting with dreary, winter days and busy schedules. Moderate exercise is a great way to relieve stress and ease your mind. If you're lacking energy and motivation to work out, try these simple tricks to get your body ready to go.
• Change into athletic clothing before eating dinner. This will get your mind and body prepared for a post-meal walk.
• Stretch. It will relax your muscles and may even provide a boost to turn that stretch into a lunge.
• Turn up the tunes. It's really hard not to move when listening to your favorite songs. Just give in.
GET MOVING TO IMPROVE HEART HEALTH
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but you can greatly reduce your risk by adopting an active lifestyle.
Physical activity keeps your weight in check and improves your heart health. Experts recommend 30 minutes of activity, five days a week. If you're short on time, break the activity up into 10-minute intervals throughout the day.
The gold standard for moderate activity is a brisk walk at a rate of 3 to 4 miles per hour. If you really want to get your heart pumping and burn calories, try jogging, hiking uphill or playing basketball.
—Overlake Hospital Medical Center