Healthy Living A to Z: C

Cardio Workouts

Heart disease and stroke are the number 1 and number 5 causes of death in the United States. The American Heart Association states that cardiovascular exercise is crucial to avoiding these two health epidemics. Whether it’s jogging, bicycling, pick-up basketball or Zumba, thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember. You will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day. Anything that keeps your heart pumping and makes you sweat will burn calories and build your cardiovascular system to perform better and stay healthy.

For people who would benefit from lowering their blood pressure or cholesterol, we recommend 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity three to four times a week to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Try varying the duration, intensity or frequency of your cardio workouts to keep things fresh and also maintain progress. Your body will adapt to repeated workouts and, to gain fitness, it’s good to constantly strive to train a little harder, longer or more often. But above all, have fun with it: you’ll find it a lot easier to get your weekly cardio in if it’s something you enjoy!

Colon Health

Just as diet can have a positive or negative impact on heart, brain and bone health, your colon’s overall health can be affected by what you eat. The colon is a crucial part of the digestive system, and many different conditions can cause it to work improperly. Some of these include inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease; diverticular disease; irritable bowel syndrome; and colorectal cancer (the third most common cancer and the third deadliest cancer in the U.S.).Treatment for these conditions includes diet and lifestyle modifications, medications and/or surgery.

Diets high in vegetables, fruits and whole grains and low in red and processed meats have been associated with a decreased risk of colon cancer, according to the ACS. To help promote good colon health, follow some of these diet recommendations:

Limit red meat consumption and steer clear of processed meats.

Cut back on sugar.

Up your fiber intake by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. 

Drink your milk: make sure you’re getting the recommended amount of calcium in your diet: depending on age, that is 1,000 milligrams to 1,300 milligrams a day (three to four eight-ounce glasses of low-fat or fat-free milk). Other dietary sources of calcium include leafy greens, such as spinach, kale and collard greens.

Choose grains wisely: Some readily available whole grains include barley, quinoa, whole wheat flour, wild and brown rice and oatmeal.

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