Every month or so, we stumble upon a holiday season that leave our tummies so full, that we can’t move. And when that happens, we grow lazy and lethargic, and all we can think about is taking a nap and having something refreshingly-sweet to drink! And the cycle continues, from a monthly affair to a daily lifestyle.
Did you know that in 2009, the Health Ministry of Malaysia estimated that 1/4 deaths in government hospitals are related to heart diseases or strokes? We know that the culinary track in Malaysia is hard to resist but it’s about time that we start taking better care of our heart, and more importantly, our over-all health. It’s not a simple trick to weight-loss, but a matter of being cautious of what we eat and what we do. So, here’s 5 simple steps to help you maintain cardiovascular health!
1. Annual Full-Body Checkups
A full-body checkup should be the first thing on your mind when hoping to start a change in lifestyle. Before going on a drastic diet, get a physician to guide the crucial steps you should take before embarking on something that could potentially do more damage to your body. A full-body checkup would consist of a blood-test, BMI-calculation and sometimes a bone-density test to indicate your calcium levels. Your blood test could point to what nutrients you might lack, or what diseases you might be prone to, while a BMI-calculation lets you know whether your body weight is optimum or not. When you receive a report, ask your doctor or physician to help chart out a diet-plan to help you stay fit.
2. Invest in a Blood Pressure Monitor
If you suffer from high-blood pressure or diseases that contribute to high-blood pressure like hypertension or diabetes, it might be time to invest in a blood pressure monitor. They’re usually rather affordable and is more worth-while than scheduling regular check-ups with your doctor! Track your blood-pressure on a weekly basis or whenever you’re feeling tired or stressed out. This way, you’ll be able to monitor your own health without having to spend any money or sacrifice time. And if you’re taking medication to keep your pressure to it’s optimum level, a blood pressure monitor will also keep you informed if your meds are working or not!
3. Cut the Carb
There’s no cheat-sheet when it comes to being healthy. You are what you eat, and if you eat healthy, that’s what you are! Carbohydrates are an abundance when Malaysian food is concerned. But if you’re not the kind to bid farewell to rice and noodles for the rest of your life, take a leap and sacrifice a little by having carbs on alternate days. That’s right! Have carbs on Monday, then none at all on Tuesday, and continue. It might be difficult at first, but you will see changes and we promise that it’ll put a smile on your face. You can try this method with sugar too!
4. Go Green
As we were little kids, our mothers would struggle to make sure that we chomp on those veggies because it apparently makes us stronger. Well, as much as we hate to admit it, they really do keep us healthier in so many ways. Have a fresh and crisp salad at least twice a week and feel the difference in your body! Have lots of spinach, celery or even try a wheat-grass shot at your nearest juice bar!
There’s no short-cut to weight-loss or health. And there’s no running away from some exercise. Your heart needs to stimulate and exercise as well, so the best way to get your involved in some stress-releasing exercise three times a week to keep your heart working well. Try yoga, brisk-walking, or if you’re pressed for time, take 10-15 minutes of your lunch time to go on a walk or climb a few flights of stairs. Even though it may be a little for now, but it does do a lot in the long run.