As we learned in school, an object at rest tends to stay at rest. We can fight back against the two-headed monster of heart failure and obesity with a simple 1-2-3 plan for a healthy heart:
Know your blood pressure. Your heart's an amazing muscle, but it can only withstand the pressure of working overtime for so long before it yells, "help!" Healthy blood pressure is between 120/80 mm Hg.
Know what you eat. The color of the food on your plate is an easy way to determine if you're eating a balanced meal. More color = more nutrition.
Know how much you exercise. Walking is one of the best exercises. Find a partner. Commit to a schedule. Set a good pace. Your body will say thank you.
Finally, find someone other than yourself for you to take your heart health seriously. Living for someone is often more gratifying then living for ourselves. As we start a new year, I hope you'll find a reason to be intentional about your good health.
By Dr. James Benner of Palmetto Cardiovascular and Thoracic Associates