By Dr. Kac Young
I was browsing through an article written by Jeff Yeager, the official Savings Expert of AARP and founder of the Ultimate Cheapskate Website. He suggested some very clever ways to save money. One idea, if you’re going to take a long trip, is to rent a car instead of using your own. Look for a low cost rental in a car that gets 30 mpg, has unlimited mileage and your auto policy covers the insurance. On an average trip of 300 miles you could save $50 a day in costs and depreciation of your own car. He got me thinking.
If we are looking for new ideas to save money, what about ideas for saving our heart health, too? The overall cost of direct care for heart disease was $183 billion in 2009. Yo! What if we were able to save even half of that nationally? I’m sure we could all come up with many creative ideas to put that $90 billion in savings to work for us. I put my thinking cap on and came up with 5 ideas that can jump start our collective heart health and save us all some serious $$$.
• Talk it up: Bring up the subject of diet and heart health. Ask your kids what they think about it and have a family discussion with several generations present. (Note: half the deaths in America are caused by heart disease – it’s time to take that statistic seriously and discuss why it is what it is. Kids are smart. They’ll have some wise answers that will enlighten you)
• Switch it out: Read your labels. Check the nutrition on the foods you buy. Leave the ones high in saturated fats (red meat, bacon, butter, cream, ice cream, cookies, pies, cakes, potato chips, corn chips) behind and switch them out for healthier versions with less fat and add more vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and grains to your diet. Choose non-fat frozen yogurt instead of fat-laden ice cream. Choose lean ground turkey instead of hamburger meat. Pop your own popcorn with a small amount of canola oil and forget the high fat microwave popcorn.)
• Clean it out: We’re talking arteries here. One of the best roto-rooters for clogged arteries is oatmeal. Oatmeal, without heavy cream and sugar, carries away cholesterol from the body. Cholesterol builds up inside arteries and prevents the flow of blood to the heart. It can stop you cold in a heartbeat if you let it build up. Substitute oatmeal for sugary cereals, frosted breads, or sweets for every member of the family.
• Shake it up: Nothing makes for a happier heart than exercise. Get your booty shaking, dance up a storm, run, walk fast, jog, bike, do anything that increases your heart rate and sustains it for at least 12 minutes. The Mayo Clinic says, ” The higher your heart rate during physical activity, the higher the exercise intensity.” Here are clues that your exercise intensity is at a moderate level:
-Your breathing quickens, but you’re not out of breath.
-You develop a light sweat after about 10 minutes of activity.
-You can carry on a conversation, but you can’t sing.
• Knock it out: Figure you are King of the Universe or Queen of the Realm. You have the power to change the face of heart disease in America by using these simple steps. Ascend your throne and start making changes in your kingdom. You’ll see the results in your energy level, your weight, your health care costs and ultimately in the length of your life.
The savings begin the minute you agree to take charge. The America Heart Association says that 90% of all heart disease is curable. Consider this a coupon for good heart health. Now isn’t that the great bargain you’ve been looking for?
– Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a Ph.D. in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author 10 books. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding. While earning her Ph.D. in Natural Health and a Doctorate in Naturopathy, she completed 36 courses in nutrition from Baylor University. She also earned a doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy. Her practice includes, weight control, smoking cessation, behavior modification, stress reduction, past-life regression, meditation training and phobia management. Her books include: “Heart Easy, The Food Lover’s Guide to Heart Healthy Eating,” “Discover Your Spiritual Genius,” “Feng Shui the Easy Way,” “Dancing with the Moon,” “21 Days to the Love of Your Life,” “Gold Mind,” “Cheese Dome Power,” The Path to Fabulous,” “The Quick Guide to Bach Flower Remedies” and “Supreme Healing.”