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Healthy for Good

Be well is one of the pillar of the American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good Movement. For whole body health, your mind and your body need to rest, reset and recharge. The months after the busyness of the holidays is a great time to concentrate on that. Wellbeing includes selfcare, managing stress, getting enough quality sleep, connecting socially, and much more.

Stress is often an underlying factor contributing to unhealthy habits. According to a 2012 report from the American Psychological Association, 39 percent of Americans reported eating unhealthy foods or eating too much to deal with stress, and 13 percent reported drinking alcohol to manage stress. Our mental and physical health are linked.

Sleep
Insufficient sleep duration and sleep disorders are associated with negative health factors and cardiovascular risk. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes for Health estimates that 25-30 percent of the general adult population is affected by a sleep disorder or insufficient sleep.

How much sleep should you get? Seven or more hours of sleep per night is generally recommended for adults to promote optimal health.

Getting Enough Physical Activity
Do you get much physical activity in a day? Here are some surprising facts. About 45 percent of adults are not sufficiently active to receive health benefits. And about one in three adults participating in NO leisure time physical activity at all!

It’s an easy thing to improve. Getting the recommended amounts of physical activity weekly (150 minutes of moderate activity) is linked to lower risk of diseases, stronger bones and muscles, and improved mental health and mood.

Studies have shown that you can even break this into 10-minute segments and still reap the benefits. So, could you take the dog for a brisk walk? Do a lap around the mall before shopping? Walk for ten minutes during a lunch break?

Regular exercise reduces the effects of aging & increases lifespan. For the average person in their 50s and 60s, moderate exercise could reduce the risk of dying from a heart attack by half.

To learn more about the Healthy For Good challenge in Southwest MI, reach out to the American Heart Association Healthy For Good Director, Kimberly.Earnshaw@heart.org.

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