A new study shows that good heart health is really quite simple.
Just five things can make the difference between a long and healthy life and one compromised and cut short by heart disease (our number one killer – sorry, Ebola!)
Here they are, in order of importance:
- Eat a healthy diet (the more whole plants, the better)
- Don't smoke
- Use alcohol in moderation, if at all
- Maintain a slim waistline
That's it – those five elements (or four, if you consider #5 to be an outcome rather than a behavior) make up the vast majority of the difference between heart-healthy and heart-sick people.
In fact, the study (of almost 21,000 men ages 45-79) suggests that 4 out of 5 heart attacks could be prevented by adopting these five behaviors.
And that's pretty conservative, because the recommended diet was not that great (“top quintile (5th) of Recommended Food Score”, whatever that means). Oh, and guess how many of the 21,000 men were 5 for 5?
Less than 1%. Around 200.
The takeaway here – health doesn't have to be complicated.
Sure, there's almost more to add – getting enough rest and recovery, practicing optimism and gratitude, connecting with nature – but in my experience it's hard to go to those next levels when I'm fueling my body with toxins and junk, and sitting on the couch rather than moving.
Start where you are. Start simple. Start with food. (Hey, maybe that will become one of those Facebook memes people create over inspirational photos of mountain ranges.)
Become a Health Coach
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New Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight
Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.
It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂
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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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