How Healthy Is Your Heart? (Q & A)

How's Your Diet?

1. My favorites breakfast is:
A. A bowl of cereal or raisin brain.
B. Two takeaway Egg-and-Bacon rolls.
C. A chicken wrap: I don't eat until lunchtime.

2. Yesterday I ate these fruits and vegetables:
A. A wide range of colors: green (broccoli, green salad), orange (canteloupe melon, carrots), red (peppers, tomatoes), purple (blackcurrants, grapes).
B. A small variety: peas, banana, apple.
C. Almost none: the salad garnish in my burger and a bag of chips.

3. When eating at a restaurant:
A. I usually make some special requests, such as substituting baked dishes for fried ones or leaving out the creamy sauces.
B. I bypass he obvious baddies like deep fried food or rich sauces, and try to choose wisely, but I don't really know the difference between all the options.
C. I'm there to indulge myself, I'll have the chef's special.

4. For nutritional insurance:
A. I take a multivitamin whenever I'm rushing or skipping meals.
B. I occasionally take a multivitamin since Haliborange children's chewables.
C. I haven't taken a vitamin since Haliborange children's chewables.

5. To watch how much I eat:
A. I serve small portions at home and eat little more than half of what I'm given when eating out.
B. I avoid taking second helpings but still probably eat more than I should.
C. I have a hard time resisting seconds, and I usually eat whatever I'm served.

Mostly 'A's : Your heart jumps for joy whenever you sit down to eat, knowing you always look out for its best interests by eating plenty of fresh produce, reasonable portions and limited amounts of dangerous fat. Adjusting your eating habits is certainly not the highest item on your must-do-list. Make sure you keep up the good work, though!

Mostly 'B's : Although your heart is often in the right place, the best dietary choices often elude you. Because you are generally motivated to eat well, all you need is a little more know-how to be a "heartsmart" eater. Make this medium to high on your priority list.

Mostly 'C's : Put "heart-healthy eating" high on your priority list: your current eating habits are damaging to your heart. By learning to make little changes - possibly taking a multivitamin, cutting portion sizes, choosing healthier main courses you and your heart can live a longer, healthier life.

How Active Are You?

1. My daily walking habits are
A. I walk to the shower, to the car and to the cafe' near work for lunch. I'm too busy for much else.
B. I try to get up and move two or three times a day and usually take a nice walk at some point each day.
C. I usually try to walk for a few minutes in my lunch hour.

2. My favorite recreational pastimes are:
A. Watching television, reading, hiring DVDs and going out to restaurants.
B. Walking cycling and tennis: I like to be outdoors.
C. A good game of golf, but we usually take a buggy.

3. If someone suggested that I lift weights, I'd:
A. Laugh-dumb-bells are not for me.
B. Say I already do, two or three days a week.
C. Be interested. I know lifting weights is important: I just don't know how.

4. When I reach down to touch my toes, I can:

A. Barely see my toes, let alone reach them.
B. At least reach my shoelaces; on a good day, I can touch the floor.
C. Reach my ankles, but I'm definitely not as supple as I used to be.

5. My general attitude towards exercise is:
A. Ugh- it reminds me of PE lessons.
B. It's the best part of my day.
C. I know I should do it, but somehow it's always the first thing to go when my day gets busy.

Mostly 'A' s: Dust off your walking shoes and sack your outdated images of exercise. Inactivity is as bad of your heart as smoking. The good news is that exercise doesn't have to be boring or time consuming. Just a few minutes of easy activity a day can dramatically reduce your heart disease risk. Put it high on your priority list.

Mostly 'B's : Your get-up-and-go is great for your heart. By being active every day, whether by walking, cycling or lifting weights, you're keeping your arteries supple and clear. Although you've already over come "sitting disease", keep motivated by adding new activities to your repertoire-as well as continuing to fit in the ones you already love.

Mostly 'C's : Try as you might, our sedentary society usually gets the better of you, sidelining your best-laid exercise plans. But little exercise goes a long way towards protecting your heart, especially if you can sneak in small increments through out the day. Make this a medium to high priority.

How Happy Are You?

1. When I go to bed at night:
A. I'm usually too wound up to fall asleep quickly. I'm a little groggy in the morning.
B. I sleep like a baby and usually wake up before the alarm goes off.
C. I'm a night owl. I usually hit the snooze button and I like a lie-in at weekends.

2. I would describe by typical day as:
A. Somewhat stressful. There's a lot of pressure at work and it's hard to relax.
B. Busy but manageable. I usually set aside a little time for myself each day.
C. Awful. I dread Mondays.

3. When someone cuts me up in traffic, I:
A. Swear under my breath and seethe for a minute or two.
B. Shrug it off.
C. Get furious: may be shake my fist, or worse.

4. I would describe my spiritual or community involvement as:
A. Fairly active. I don't go to religious services very often but I make time for meditation.
B. Very active. I'm involved in my local community and/or I go to church.
C. Non-existent. I don't find time to think about it.

5. During a typical week, my alcohol use is:
A. A few drinks in the week, usually with dinner, but sometimes I overdo it at weekends.
B. Usually just a glass of wine with dinner, but sometimes I have two.
C. Not daily, but when I do drink I don't hold back.

Mostly 'A's: Life isn't bad, but it could be better. You fall into that frazzled noman's-land of mortgages, loan repayments, job demands and family responsibilities that can suck the fun out of life if you're not careful. You need to learn some quick, easy tricks for relieving your stress and replacing it with calm or even joy.

Mostly 'B's: You have a smile in your heart most of the time. You've learned how to find calm in chaos and to enjoy your life no matter how hectic it gets. By doing so, you'll lower your odds of developing heart disease in the long run. Keep up the good work by continuing to get as much joy as possible out of your life.

Mostly 'C's: Like atlas, you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders- and it's straining your heart. Symptoms of general unhappiness, such as high stress, anger, poor sleep and alcohol misuse, elevate your risk of high blood pressure, obesity and other heart damaging conditions. Make "nurturing a happy heart" a high priority.

How Clean is Your Lifestyle?

1. I smoke tobacco:
A. Daily: I'm a regular smoker.
B. Not at all: I've never smoked.
C. Not now: I used to smoke, but I gave up.

2. My dentist would describe my oral hygiene as:
A. Awful. It's been so long, he probably doesn't remember my name.
B. Good - I even use dental floss regularly.
C. Pretty good. I brush regularly but I don't floss as often as I should

3. During the colds and flu season:
A. Let's face it, I'm bound to get at least one rotten bug.
B. I have a flu jab and I take care to wash my hands frequently.
C. I try to avoid ill people, but I suppose I could do better.

4. I would describe the area where I live as:
A. Busy, with heavy car and lorry traffic.
B. Rural: my nearest neighbors are farmers with a large plantation.
C. Just off the beaten track but not far from a large town centre.

5. When it comes to avoiding environmental pollutants I:
A. Don't worry about it; pollution is unavoidable.
B. Keep up with reports on high-risk foods and I drink filtered water.
C. Keep a clean house and kitchen but I don't take any precautionary measures beyond that.

Mostly 'A's: It's time to clean up. You may feel that pollution, germs and grime are inevitable, but with a few clever steps, the worst offenders are avoidable. Environmental assaults from tobacco smoke, viruses, air and water pollution elevate your risk of heart attack. Make purging the poisons a priority.

Mostly 'B's: If your heart were a linoleum floor, it would sparkle. By not smoking, protecting yourself during the colds and flu season and avoiding the worst environmental offenders, you help your arteries to run clean. Keep checking out good new clean-living hints and tips.

Mostly 'C's: Your approach to eliminating everyday toxins is a little like surface cleaning. That's obviously better than not cleaning at all, but eventually the hidden clutter spills out and causes problems. Extra preventive steps such as yearly flu jab can greatly reduce your heart disease risk, as well as protecting you from germs.