Live Heart Healthy

Friday, February 28, 2020

 By mamanning1in BenefitsReadiness onFebruary 21, 2020No comments

By: Tim Merrell Health Promotion Program Manager

How do you live healthy for your heart?  Although this is an open-ended question, many would say heart health starts with healthy living.  No matter what your current health level, there are three things that a person can start doing right now that will improve their health:  eat right, sleep right, and get enough exercise.  You know them, but do you practice them?  Here are some things you should consider: 

Basic nutrition is made up of the five food groups in a plate template that Marines can follow to maintain a healthy diet. Nutrition is providing the body with food for proper health and growth. Without proper nutrition a person’s health can be affected in many physical ways such as muscle break down and slow reaction times. (U.S. Marine Corps illustration by Lance Cpl. Christopher Madero)
Basic nutrition is made up of the five food groups in a plate template that Marines can follow to maintain a healthy diet. Nutrition is providing the body with food for proper health and growth. Without proper nutrition a person’s health can be affected in many physical ways such as muscle break down and slow reaction times. (U.S. Marine Corps illustration by Lance Cpl. Christopher Madero)

Eat Right
Your body, especially your brain and heart, are always on.  Even when you sleep, (which we will discuss in a moment) your body is processing data, making adjustment to prepare for the day.  The food or fuel we put into this biological machine can drastically affect how it operates from day to day.  Diets high in refined sugars, for example, are harmful to the brain. In addition to worsening your body’s regulation of insulin, they also promote inflammation and oxidative stress. Multiple studies have found a correlation between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function and even a worsening of symptoms of mood disorders, such as depression.  Eating dessert may give you a boost of bad sugar but you aren’t just satisfying your temporary craving, you are also raising insulin and releasing inflammatory responses in your brain and body.  There are healthy options out there to select for a treat. What you select to put in your body is up to you but if you want optimum health, choose nutritionally dense foods. For more information on proper nutrition, go to the Human Performance Resource Centerfor some great articles on how to improve your nutrition and eating habits.

Sleep Right
One of the most important yet neglected aspects of our lives is sleep.  Nobody can dispute the feeling you have when trying to get through the day with not enough sleep.  In fact, after you’re awake for 18–20 hours, your performance will be as if you had a blood-alcohol content of 0.1%. This is critical if your task requires any eye hand coordination, reaction time, or deductive thinking.  Sleep helps your body repair itself and has consequences for your health both short and long term.  Adults who sleep less than 7 hours each night are more likely to have health problems, including high blood pressure, asthma, and depression. Some of these health problems raise the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

For more information on sleep go to the Human Performance Resource Center for information on how to improve your sleep, https://www.hprc-online.org/mental-fitness/sleep-stress

Get Enough Exercise 
Exercise is key to improving physical fitness attributes such as strengthand cardiorespiratory endurance.  Proper exercise has also been known to reduce of high blood pressure, cholesterol, stress and depression.  Providing the opportunity to engage in physical activity has also been linked to an increase in morale.  

Participants attend the Group Indoor Cycle class at the Fitness Center on Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Jan. 8, 2019. Indoor cycling is a good alternative to running that puts less strain on your body while still doing cardio. The Lakenheath Fitness Center and Health Promotion offer free services to help you achieve your fitness goals.
Participants attend the Group Indoor Cycle class at the Fitness Center on Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Jan. 8, 2019. Indoor cycling is a good alternative to running that puts less strain on your body while still doing cardio. The Lakenheath Fitness Center and Health Promotion offer free services to help you achieve your fitness goals.

The Health Promotion Program Manual COMDTINST M6200.1requires all active duty and select reserves to develop Personal Fitness Plans (Form CG-6049) in the months of April and October to be sent to their supervisors.  Active duty and reserve members must also engage in fitness activity at a minimum of 180 minutes per week, ideally aiming at 150 minutes of cardiorespiratory activity and 30 minutes of strength training. Civilian employees, with their supervisors’ approval, may be excused for up to 180 minutes each week for physical fitness activities.

Moderate intensity activities include fast walking, biking, or swimming.  Vigorous intensity include running or jogging, fast biking, or High-intensity interval training. Even if you cannot get a full workout in, moving around once an hour can be beneficial.  

No matter your current health level, by eating better, getting plenty of sleep, and getting enough exercise, you will discover you feel happier and can accomplish more. Your brain and heart will be healthier.  

To launch your new health crusade, review:  Get into fighting weight: A Total Force Fitness Guideand utilize the fitness coaching available through CG SUPRTby contacting them at: 1-855-247-8778.

To learn more about various health topics visit: National Institutes for Health: Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

 

Comments


  1. William Antoshkiw says:

    I am a member of the USCG Auxiliary. Have we ever considered developing a health promotion program specifically adapted to the needs of Auxiliary members? Your program is an excellent initiative and it would be great to see our Auxiliary members benefit from your Health Promotion.


Leave a Comment




We welcome your comments on postings at all Coast Guard sites/journals. These are sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide a forum to talk about our work providing maritime safety, security and stewardship for the American people to secure the homeland, save lives and property, protect the environment, and promote economic prosperity.

The information provided is for public information only and is not a distress communication channel. People in an emergency and in need of Coast Guard assistance should use VHF-FM Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), dial 911, or call their nearest Coast Guard unit.

All comments submitted are moderated. The Coast Guard retains the discretion to determine which comments it will post and which it will not. We expect all contributors to be respectful. We will not post comments that contain personal attacks of any kind; refer to Coast Guard or other employees by name; contain offensive terms that target specific ethnic or racial groups, or contain vulgar language. We will also not post comments that are spam, are clearly off topic, or that promote services or products.

The U.S. Coast Guard disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from any comments posted on this page. This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

If you have specific questions regarding a U.S. Coast Guard program that involves details you do not wish to share publicly please contact the program point of contact listed at http://www.uscg.mil/global/mail/

The U.S. Coast Guard will not collect or retain Personally Identifiable Information unless you voluntarily provide it to us. To view the U.S. Coast Guards Privacy Policy, please visit: http://www.uscg.mil/global/disclaim.asp

Please note: Anonymous comments have been disabled for this journal. It is preferred that you use your real name when posting a comment. WE WILL POST THE NAME YOU ENTER WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT. Also, you are welcome to use Open ID or other user technologies that may be available.