According to an article I read in AsiaSpa, people are likely to do 3 things to improve their wellness: exercise, eat and visit a spa.
Unfortunately in our country, we really only do one of those three: EAT.
Even then, we tend to eat food that are high in fat and low in fibre instead of the nutritious ones that will bring benefits to our body.
On top of that, we don't exercise. Only the richer ones among us will visit a spa - even then it's probably the OH CHI PALA type of spa and not the clean-clean ones.
No wonder newspapers reported that heart diseases has been the number one killer in our country for the past 30 years, causing 1 out of 8 deaths in Malaysia - even more than cancer-related deaths.
Over 3 million Malaysians are at risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart diseases. If left untreated, these people are opening themselves up to strokes, heart attacks and organ failures.
But here's the most startling part. Most people DON'T even know they are at risk of developing heart diseases.
Most people in my age group have this mentality: we think we are invincible. We are young, and so we can do whatever we want and nothing is gonna happen to us.
So we smoke, we drink, we don't exercise, we don't eat healthily and we don't allocate time for exercising. By the time we reach 50 years old and the medical bills start rolling in, we regret we did not take care of ourselves when we were younger.
In fact, when I ask the 20-somethings in my fitness centre what they come here for, "looking good" is a often bigger reason than "staying healthy". That shouldn't be the reason people exercise!
People in my fitness centre often work out to improve the appearance of their waist, their chest, their butt and their biceps. But I feel it's even more important to improve the health of the heart.
This involves 3 steps.
The first is to take a Heart Health Test to determine what risk level your heart is at based on your current lifestyle and diet. If you have done a medical check-up lately, it is a straightforward test that can be done online at www.myhealthyheart.com.my
Otherwise, just do the test anyway and you'll be given a discount voucher for a medical check-up at your nearest BP Healthcare.
That'll provide a starting point for your roadmap to better heart.
Second, start exercising.
We often hear from doctors that just 30 minutes of moderate cardio activity 5 times a week is enough to prevent up to 75% of chronic diseases, including heart disease. It is such a little investment for a high ROI, and yet it is ironic that many people wouldn't even want to spare that 30 minutes in the 24 hours they have in a day!
People, you gotta eliminate your excuses and start exercising now!
And lastly, stop smoking and start eating healthy.
Eating healthy doesn't mean you gotta completely stop eating KFC. It just gotta be done in moderation. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I make sure I have a bowl of Quaker Oats when I wake up, and some fruits and veg in my diet throughout the day.
All these hype about eliminating carbohydrates for weight loss is getting a bit overboard. The key is to take in good carbohydrates like hot oats, and not too much sugary carbohydrates like alcohol and sweets.
It's that classic food pyramid that we learnt since primary school but chose to ignore.
If you can do all three, then maybe you too can have a healthy heart. Like me! :D
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