A month to change your heart: Day 29

Top Ten Reasons to continue beyond Heart Month, and help your heart even more:

Number 10.  This is more than a diet.  Stop losing the same ten pounds again and again. By making a lifestyle change, you are on the road to better health, and a healthier heart

Number 9.  Know that if you do need prescription medications for cholesterol, diabetes, or other chronic medical problems, that you are doing everything possible to be sure that these medications are really necessary, and not the result of a problem that has developed because of weight and being sedentary

Number 8. Lose weight.  Although this is not a program to lose weight, people who have gone through this program have lost an average of 10 pounds during the first 10 weeks

Number 7. Enjoy the Mediterranean Diet, a diet which has been shown to be heart healthy, good for weight loss, and decrease the need for medications. Learn new recipes to make it even easier

Number 6.  See benefits on your lipid panel. Even with any cholesterol lowering medications or supplements, most participants will see cholesterol levels go down at least 10%, and improve their HDL.  For some, adding red yeast rice and omega 3 fatty acids will lower cholesterol more than 30%, without the need for a statin

Number 5. Develop collateral circulation in your heart- the tiny new blood vessels that grow in response to exercise, and can help create an “auto-bypass”

Number 4. Begin to experience the effects of endorphins, the chemical that our body can release at higher levels of exercise and is responsible for a “runner’s high”

Number 3. Tone up your body by adding gentle strength exercises involving weights, best done after aerobic exercise

Number 2.  Incorporate relaxations techniques into your life.  Try tai chi, yoga, mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, and find the thing that begins to help you deal with stress

And the Number 1 reason to continue beyond these first 29 days?   Reverse and prevent heart disease.  The blockages, or plaque, that builds up in coronary arteries can begin to improve and start to actually go away- small changes in these blockages can result in major improvement in the blood flow to your heart, and reduce the chance of having a heart attack


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