It’s Edith hosting Wicked Wednesday again. We’ve been riffing on hearts all month, so let’s talk today about heart-healthy habits. Some of you know that my sister’s heart stopped without warning on Christmas night. By some miracle of modern medicine (and hundreds of people praying for her), she recovered with her brain and body intact. She went home from the hospital nine days later and is now doing cardio rehab, so you can bet I’m thinking about my own heart-healthy habits.
The American Heart Association has some sensible guidelines for heart health that won’t be a surprise to most readers: exercise; eat your veggies, nuts, whole grains, and lean meats; don’t smoke; drink alcohol in moderation; and limit saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, sweets, and sugar-sweetened beverages. So let’s dish, Wickeds – what’s your favorite heart-healthy habit and which do you wish you could ignore?
Liz: So glad your sister is healing, Edith. What a great topic. I try to do all the basics. I haven’t eaten meat in years, don’t drink soda, eat a lot of veggies, do different types of workouts – boxing, weights, yoga – and I do a lot of meditation, which really helps reduce stress. I also drink black Pu’er tea that I get from my Chinese healer, Dr. Wu, which is great for blood pressure and cholesterol. And though I’m trying to give up sugar altogether, I (usually) only eat sweets with organic cane sugar.
Sherry: My dog, Lily, and I take daily walks. We take a long one in the morning and a shorter one late afternoon. Since we don’t have a fenced yard we are out in all types of weather. And I’ve been working hard on not sitting for more than thirty minutes without getting up and moving around.
Jessie: I am a big believer in the mind-body connection. As more and more research has come out proving the impact of strong, meaningful relationships on longevity and overall health I have been making sure to keep my connections with friends and family a priority in my life. I feel so lucky to count the Wickeds and our readers here on the blog as part of that social connection and support!
Edith: I agree about the Wickeds and our readers, Jessie! I’m very attached to my daily power walk. I know it doesn’t get my heart rate up as much as when I used to run, but it’s something. And has the added benefit of letting me talk out loud about what my characters need to do next! Otherwise I eat pretty healthy, although I’m perhaps overly fond of sweets. And wine. And butter…. (I’m also relieved to know that my recent echocardiogram stress test came back normal.)
Julie: Welp, heart issues run in my family, so I take medication for cholesterol. Even at my thinnest and healthiest my numbers were very high, so modern medicine to the rescue. I also walk at least 7500 steps a day (working toward 10000), try to eat well, and am working on stress reduction methods. I am also mindfully exploring the joy of life–seeing people, loving the writing, making plans that include having fun. All of that said, I am far from perfect. Far from it. Aspiring to be better, but I like red wine, desserts, red meat and butter. Carpe Diem.
Readers: What about you? Heart-healthy habits? Not-so-healthy ones it’s hard to let go of?