June 2009 A subscription based eBulletin devoted to your Smart Heart Living.
If you know someone who could benefit from the information in this eBulletin... pass it on!!!
I sincerely hope you are motivated or inspired by this issue of Smart Heart Living Bulletin. If you find it helpful, share it with others!
Send us your ideas for future issues and your heart stories to share with others.
In this issue:
Lifestyle choices - Many of us know what we need to do to live a healthier lifestyle, but it's easy to fall off the heart health wagon from time-to-time.
Self motivation tips to help you achieve and maintain a heart healthy lifestyle
And once you fall off, it can be awfully hard to get back on again!
So whether you are changing your lifestyle to take care of your ticker, or you simply want to continue with a healthy lifestyle, this issue of Smart Heart Living Bulletin will focus on staying motivated - with your eating, your fitness, and your weight.
STAYING MOTIVATED TO EAT WELL
Don’t feel like cooking? Don’t have time to prepare healthy foods? Falling into old habits or reaching for those snack foods so many of us regard as comfort foods?
Here are some diet motivation tips:
For more tips see Smart Heart Living's section on smart heart eating. Check out our Smart Heart Recipes – and send us yours!
- Purge your pantry. Get rid of snack foods, heavily processed foods, any of the unhealthy choices that tempt you. If they’re not there, you can’t succumb to them.
- Shop with a list. You’re more likely to buy healthy foods (and less likely to buy junk food on impulse) if you shop with a list. Plan your menus in advance and don’t shop when you are hungry!
- Try something new. Experiment with new recipes. Challenge yourself to snack on something different - and stock your kitchen accordingly.
- Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels. If you’re feeling tempted, stop and think about what’s more important – a momentary pleasure or your lasting health?
STAYING MOTIVATED TO EXERCISE
We all know we need exercise but sometimes it’s just plain hard to get motivated. Here are some fitness tips:
Remember – if you are living with heart disease check with your doctor before starting a new fitness program.
- Engage in activities you enjoy. If you enjoy doing something it's recreation, not work! If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t be motivated. Walking, hiking, biking, golfing, rowing... you choose whatever it is you like to do, then get out and have some fun.
- Have an exercise buddy. Make a date. When you have someone to exercise with you are less likely to get bored and less likely to jam out or to procrastinate. You can help motivate each other.
- Vary your routine. I walk most days but some days I golf, other days I bike, and I love to go for a paddle in the canoe. A variety of physical activities will keep things more interesting, plus you’ll exercise different muscle groups. You can also alternate between cardiovascular activities and resistance exercises.
- Keep an exercise log. The act of writing down what you’ve accomplished can really help you keep on track. Use the Smart Heart Living fitness log to record your activity and keep motivated.
- It will get easier – really! If you are overweight or out of shape, exercise can be very hard. Keep it up and it will get easier and easier as you improve your fitness level and lose weight.
For more information see Smart Heart Living's section on exercise.
STAYING MOTIVATED TO LOSE WEIGHT
Are you fighting the battle of the bulge? Here are some weight loss motivation tips:
- Picture this. Keep a photo of yourself at your heaviest posted in on your bathroom mirror. It will remind you each morning of what you’re working to overcome. You can also post a photo of when you were lighter so you can visualize your goal every day.
- Chart your measurements in a journal. Record dimensions (waist, hips, chest) rather than your weight, because muscle weighs more than fat. As you tone, especially if your routine includes working with weights, the scales may not reflect the changes actually taking place in your body.
- Don't lose it alone. Have a weight loss partner. Having a partner makes you responsible to not just yourself, which can sometimes spell the difference between success or status quo.
- Allow yourself to splurge a little on the weekend (key words are “a little”). Then you have the rest of the week to be more careful with what you eat. If you know there’s a treat in store on the weekend, it will be easier to stick to your weight loss program.
Low fat or low carb to lose weight? The controversy continues. Check out Smart Heart Living.
IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU!
Effective motivation has to come from within - it's self motivation - not from someone else telling you what to do. To get healthy or stay healthy you need to adopt a smart heart mind set. Recognize that
- It takes time, energy, effort, hard work, and commitment to change and sustain your lifestyle... but you are worth it, right?
- Lifestyle changes can be fun.
- Your lifestyle choices not only affect your health, they have an influence on your loved ones too.
- No one can sustain an unhealthy lifestyle without eventual consequences.
- Everyone experiences setbacks from time-to-time (don't beat yourself up about it), but the faster you get back on track, the easier it will be.
With any healthy lifestyle changes that you are making, be sure to set small goals and celebrate as you reach them. That can be a motivation in itself!
Our previous issue of Smart Heart Living Bulletin focused on knowing your numbers - blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Keeping track of your numbers and monitoring how they change or improve over time can help make the benefits of your lifestyle changes seem more "real" which can be very motivating. Keep track of your numbers in your smart heart binder and keep motivated.
Smart-Heart-Living.com was created as a resource for those living with heart disease, their loved ones, and anyone else interested in a heart healthy lifestyle. Browse the site, bookmark relevant pages, and send us your comments!
If you're living with heart disease, share your story for the benefit of others by creating your own page on the Smart Heart Living website!