Meditate to a Healthier Life

Meditation may help reduce some risk factors for heart disease, according to a new statement from the American Heart Association. Meditation has been linked to improved quality of sleep and overall well-being. It may also help lower blood pressure and help people quit smoking.

Many studies have been conducted to look at how meditation may be helpful for a variety of conditions, such as high blood pressure, certain psychological disorders, insomnia, and pain. A number of studies also have helped researchers learn how meditation might work and how it affects the brain.

 

Any condition that’s caused or worsened by stress can be alleviated through meditation, says cardiologist Herbert Benson, MD, well known for three decades of research into the health effects of meditation.

“The relaxation response [from meditation] helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing, and brain waves,” Benson says. Tension and tightness seep from muscles as the body receives a quiet message to relax.

Because practicing meditation helps you to slow your breath, quiet your mind, and find peace, it can be beneficial physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Meditation:

  • Reduces anxiety and depression by enabling your body to balance its own nervous system.
  • Allows you to make better decisions and improve critical thinking.
  • Breaks unhealthy habits by helping you detach emotions associated with an action from the action itself.
  • Improves communication with yourself. When you better understand your thought processes, you have more control over what you think.
  • Helps you stay in the present moment. When you let go of the past and the future, you live 100 percent in the now, which affects all aspects of your life and relationships.
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Wellness Conference: Connecting Your Head and Heart

There are many parts to wellness. The Wellness Conference will cover PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicide, trauma, and many more aspects to help people find wholeness and wellness in their lives.

The Wellness Conference is free for our community to help each of us understand and reach wellness goals. Madison Memorial Hospital, the City of Rexburg, Madison School District (Madison Cares), BYUI, and other awesome entities that are a part of our community are united and focused on our wellness. Surveys have been conducted, healthcare reports have been analyzed, and together we have decided from your feedback to put together this conference. With this collaboration, we were able to offer this event for free with some excellent presenters.

The Wellness Conference will be held October 21, 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Madison High School.

Make wellness a first priority, and come to grow!

For more information, you can visit https://head-heart.org/

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Eating Healthy

Healthful Food Suggestions

ChooseMyPlate.gov recommends that our meals include about an equal ratio of fruits and vegetables compared to grains and proteins. That means that you should make fruits and vegetables about half your plate.

Try eating whole grains rather than processed grains for added health benefits. “People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Grains provide many [emphasis added] nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of our bodies” (ChooseMyPlate.gov). Whole grains also contain more nutrients and fill you up better than refined grains.

Fruits are a sweet, natural dessert and a much better option than junk food or candy because they contain nutrients and lack the refined sugars.

“A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check” (Harvard School of Public Health).

Fish such as salmon are another heart-healthy protein option. “The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times (two servings) a week.”If you don’t eat meat, beans and peas are some alternative sources of protein.

If you don’t eat meat, beans and peas are some alternative plant sources for protein while still part of the vegetable food group.

Caloric Intake Guidelines

Ever wonder how many calories you should eat a day? This WebMD link shares the average calorie intake to “maintain energy balance” based on gender, height, and the amount of daily activity.

Learn What Your Food is Made of

USDA.gov has a food tracker called Food-A-Pedia. It is a great resource to track the nutritional content and calories of what you eat.

Also, don’t forget to prepare your food properly and wash your hands before eating!

Other resources:

healthline.com

authoritynutrition.com

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

 

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