“Life isn’t measured in minutes, but in heartbeats.” – Joan Lowery Nixon
Walking the dog, doing housework, or stretching during the day are all good physical activities. To be sure that you are doing activities that are good for your heart while staying at a level that is safe for you, aim for a “target heart rate”. This range of numbers is the sweet spot that reflects how fast your heart should be beating to get the most from your workout while not overexerting yourself. To measure your heart rate, simply check your pulse by placing your index and third fingers on your neck to the side of your windpipe or place two fingers on the thumb side of your wrist. Count the number of beats in a minute. You can also wear a fitness tracking device or use a treadmill or other machine that calculates your heart rate. Once you know how to take your heart rate, use these steps to monitor your heart rate:
Find your resting heart rate. Measure your heart rate when you’re at rest. A good time to check is in the morning after you’ve
had a good night’s sleep and before you have any coffee.
Know your maximum and target heart rate. The chart below shows average figures to use as a general guide from the American Heart Association. In the age category closest to yours, read across to find out your target heart rates.
|Age||Target HR Zone 50-85%||Avg Max Heart Rate, 100%|
|20 YRS||100-170 bpm||200 bpm|
|30 YRS||95-162 bpm||190 bpm|
|35 YRS||93-157 bpm||185 bpm|
|40 YRS||90-153 bpm||180 bpm|
|45 YRS||88-149 bpm||175 bpm|
|50 YRS||85-145 bpm||170 bpm|
|55 YRS||83-140 bpm||165 bpm|
|60 YRS||80-136 bpm||160 bpm|
|65 YRS||78-132 bpm||155 bpm|
|70 YRS||75-128 bpm||150 bpm|
|(bpm: beats per minute)|
Hit The Target. As you exercise, periodically check your heart rate. If your heart rate is too high, lower the intensity of your workout. If it is too low, you may want to push yourself to exercise a little harder.
If you are just starting out, the American Heart Association recommends aiming for the lower range of your target zone and to gradually build up.
ENJOYING A SNACK
Snacking is consuming food between meals. Snack foods don’t have to refer to highly processed or high calorie items. Eating healthier foods as a snack is better than letting yourself become ravenously hungry. A FEW TIPS FOR HEALTHY SNACKING ARE:
- Size of snack. In general, healthy snacks provide about 200 calories and at least 10 grams of protein to help stay full between meals.
- Frequency of snacking. Depending on your activity level and meal size, limit to 1-2 snacks per day.
- Where to snack. Portable snacks can go with you wherever you are in case hunger strikes.
HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS INCLUDE:
- Mixed nuts.
- Veggies with guacamole or hummus.
- Greek yogurt and berries.
- A piece of fruit.
- String cheese.
- Hard-boiled eggs.
Nutritious snack options can help with cravings, curb hunger and boost energy between meals.
“No man in the world has more courage than the man who can stop after eating one peanut.” Channing Pollock
COOKING TIPS TO BENEFIT YOUR HEART
Start buying and cooking foods that benefit your body and mind. If you don’t bring it home, you can’t eat it. Use these tips to inspire heart-healthy habits in the kitchen:
- Meal plan. Save time and money by mapping out a week’s worth of delicious meals.
- Prepare a meal with vegetables. Pick 2 or 3 vegetables to steam or stir-fry as a main meal.
- Use healthy vegetable oils such as canola, olive, safflower or sunflower, instead of butter, lard and tropical oils.
- Choose healthier meats and proteins, like chicken, turkey, fish and beans.
- Give healthy cooking techniques a try. Bake, broil, grill, roast, sauté, steam or stir fry instead of smothering foods in flour, salt and fat.
Have fun in the kitchen. Experiment with new dishes and make creating meals into an experience to enjoy with loved ones.
Birds of a Feather
If you have a bad habit or an addiction in your life, chances are you aren’t practicing the behavior alone. The saying, “birds of a feather flock together”, resonates when it comes to people meeting up or practicing negative behaviors together. Whether it’s smokers congregating outside in a haze, drinking buddies toasting, shopping partners over spending or food friends overeating, social aspects can reinforce the need to act out the addictive behavior. Many smokers when seeing other people smoke are more likely to smoke themselves. Many bad habits are also practiced in social situations. Identifying the social connection as part of the underlying reason for the addiction can be an instrumental strategy to quitting.
Here are a few tips to help you quit a behavior by cutting back on social settings or people that may trigger use:
- Frequent new locations. Cut back on social settings in which your habit is often Just as drinkers obviously should avoid bars.
- Develop new friendships and social networks with people who are supportive and understanding of your needs and who encourage you to keep going rather than urge you to give in and give up.
- Develop fun hobbies. Spending time doing things you enjoy will lead you to social connections with people who share the same healthy
“Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life.” Pythagoras
COURAGE TO CHANGE
All changes, whether positive or negative can be stressful and impact our well-being. Fortunately, there are ways to adapt to unavoidable life transitions without our world turning upside down. When we focus on the things we can control and let go of what is out of our control, adjusting becomes manageable and sometimes even enjoyable.
TOOLS FOR ADAPTING INCLUDE:
- Take things one day at a time. Change takes time, but the journey is often what makes us happier and stronger
- Accept the What has happened, has happened. Experience the feelings of discomfort while accepting our new reality.
- Take Once we have paused to accept the fact of a new situation, we can decide what to do about it with confidence. This empowering step makes choice possible. This may mean adjusting your schedule around the new transition.
Focus on gratitude instead of fears. It’s valuable to be aware that nearly all experiences have both “positive” and “negative”
aspects. Gratitude is about feeling and expressing appreciation for all we have and all that has happened to us. Try writing down, daily, three things you are grateful for. Noting what you are grateful for can help you lower stress, feel calmer, and focus on what really matters.
IS THE TIME Right?
Is it time to make that big purchase? Move to a new area? Change jobs? Start or add to a family? When assessing major life decisions, we should consider timing. An action taken too soon can be as ineffective as an action taken too late. Waiting until the timing is right, means we aren’t procrastinating or
acting too soon. The world doesn’t always unfold according to our expectations. There is a difference between delaying action because of scheduling, prioritizing or other valid reasons and putting off doing something without good reason.
Acting too soon. Sometimes we act too soon, out of panic or fear in an attempt to relieve anxiety about how a situation will turn out. Decisions given too little time may lead to action, without the knowledge that may have led to a better outcome.
Procrastination is intentionally putting off doing something that should be done. Leaving too much time to act on a known problem may cause us to miss the window of opportunity to pick the best options.
Delaying purposefully. Choosing when to decide is a balance between making a snap decision that seems right and pausing to gather additional knowledge before deciding.
There is no perfect time or answer. Nothing can ensure the outcome you hope for, but when you act for the right reasons, focusing on trusting your inner guidance system, you improve your chances of making a good choice.
“Changes are sweeter born from desire, not desperation.” Becky Vollmer
Should I or Shouldn’t I?
FACTS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE:
- mRNA Vaccines have been studied by scientists for more than two decades (mRNA provides instructions for our cells to make a protein that results in our body creating an immune response and make antibodies against the virus).
- The Covid-19 Vaccine will not give you Covid-19 or make you test positive.
- Previously infected individuals will also benefit from being vaccinated.
- The mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA.
- If you get sick after the vaccine, symptoms will likely only be mild.