Monday, March 21, 2011

Health And Happiness

I considered myself blessed to be working for a company that really cares for its employees. I am a firm believer that money is not everything in this life. One of the areas that the company is passionate about is the health and well-being of its employees. Each year the company is looking for ways to help its employees live happier and healthier lives. In support of the company's program this year, I signed up in the annual "Eat Well, Live Well" Challenge that runs for eight weeks and started last March 20 and Ends in May 8. We are composed of different teams. We will monitor our progress every day. As participant to this challenge, we will try to live the 4 principles to stay healthy and lower blood pressure. These principles are:
1. Strive for five (5) cups of fruits and vegetables. Fruits, veggies and beans lower blood pressure because of the nutrients they contain (plant protein, vitamins and minerals, like potassium). They are naturally low in calories, saturated fat and sodium.

2. Get moving. You can cut your risk of high blood pressure by 20-50%. Aim for at least 10,000 steps per day or 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity beyond your usual daily routine. It's fine to break the 30 minutes into smaller chunks through the day. You may think 10,000 steps is a lot but today I actually made 11,133 steps just by taking the stairs instead of the elevator in going to the office, walking (instead of driving) from the house to the drugstore 2 blocks away. These and my usual routine adds to 11, 133 steps!

3. Calories count, so watch your portion. It's about taking in fewer calories than you burn. Finding ways to trick yourself into eating less could be as simple as using a 10-inch plate or similar slimmer dinnerware. Studies have shown that people who switch from a 12-inch to a 10-inch dinner plate tend to serve and eat 22% fewer calories.

4. Measure your progress. If you don't know what your blood pressure is, you won't know where you stand. High blood pressure can cause great harm: heart attacks, strokes, kidney and eye damage and even dementia. Know your numbers by checking your blood pressure regularly.

These principles are everyday tips to all of us (employees) to stay healthy, including lowering blood pressure. We think of these principles, along with moderate sodium and alcohol use, as the basic habits that can lower blood pressure over the long haul. These strategies can improve our health in several other ways.

Having no time to plan for healthy family meals, we sometimes have the tendency to go the easy way--the microwave ready foods, or fast-food restaurants.

Being aware of the impact of having healthy lifestyle to our happiness, is a good start. As for me, I am up for the challenge. I am sharing this to challenge you too...

I wish you all a healthy life!

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