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A few months ago, I had a mini health scare, my rheumatologist noted that my heart was mildly enlarged on a routine x-ray. He told me it was probably nothing and not to worry about it and that he would check it again at our next visit. Nonetheless, anything slightly abnormal with your heart is bound to freak a girl out, right? So I did some research and realized that lack of exercise and being overweight were common causes of an enlarged heart.
That was the wake up call I needed. For years I had gone along being overweight, but actually pretty darn healthy, no cholesterol issues and my blood pressure was always on point. Aside from complaining about the way I looked in a swimsuit, being overweight didn’t really affect my life negatively… Until now. Now it was possibly messing with my heart. Things had to change, for real this time.
I spent the next three months really focusing on what I put in my mouth and being deliberate about only eating whole, nutrient dense foods and nothing processed. On a recent trip to Target I found Vega Essentials Shakes.
Oh my I’m in love! I’m not much of a breakfast person most days, but I love to have a shake first thing in the morning. With my Vega Essentials Shakes I can take on my day knowing I’ve taken care of myself already. I love that it’s packed full must-haves like 20 grams of plant-based protein, three servings of greens, 25% daily intake of food-based vitamins and minerals, plus fiber and Omega-3s—all with only 130 calories/serving!
One of my favorite ways to drink my Vega Essentials is this Orange Creamsicle Smoothie. It is simply good for you with only three ingredients that are whole and unprocessed. It is a great way to start the day!
Here is a special coupon for $5 off your Vega Essentials. All you have to do is print this image and you can start living healthy and save a bit of money. Win-win! But hurry! The coupon expires on October 10, 2015!
In addition to better eating habits, I also made exercise a priority. I started out slow but then worked myself up to an hour or more of continuous aerobics exercise everyday.
It wasn’t always easy to get out there and start moving, in the beginning I was full of excuses. Really bad ones. Most of them centered around how little time I had each day. Fortunately I had some great friends motivating me and I found some unique ways to sneak in exercise everyday.
5 ways to sneak exercise into your busy day:
Workout in bursts – 10 minutes is better than nothing! Sometimes you just don’t have the time to devote to 30-60 minutes of continuous exercise. If that is the case with you then try to get 3-4 ten minute sessions in throughout out your day. Run up and down the stairs at your home or office, stand up and do some squats or lunges, whatever will get you moving for at least 10 minutes at a time.
Take the road less traveled– Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, using a restroom that is deliberately farther away, or parking farther away from the grocery store are all ways to sneak some extra steps into your day.
Do squats every time you visit the restroom– start with 5 and work your way up to 20. This is even more advantageous if you are drinking you’re staying hydrated (more trips to the bathroom!)
Ab squeezes at red lights– This is a great way to work your core. While you are at a red light pull your belly button to your spine and hold until the light turns green. Don’t forget to breathe!
Wall sit teeth brushing– instead of standing while you brush your teeth, set a timer and do 2 45 second wall sits. This is a great way to tone your hamstrings, quads and glutes.
At then end of three months, all my hard work paid off. Not only did I lose several pounds, more importantly, my x-rays came back perfectly normal, whatever had been going on with heart had resolved itself. I feel a sense of relief and motivation to keep going on this path of healthy living.
I would love to hear how you stay healthy! Please share your tips in the comment section below 🙂