Happy, healthy thoughts to ring in the New Year

Mark A. Mahoney

Mark Mahoney

As we approach 2021 the importance of making a resolution to lessen our stress and focus on attaining a healthier lifestyle is particularly important.

Content from some of the areas where I have focused on in past columns is presented here. They are topics which can most definitely assist us in attaining a healthier 2021 for all of us. Two of these, increasing physical activity and improving our diets is provided here.

In reality 2020 has been a challenging year for many. Let’s try to employ some lifestyle changes based on science and best practices strategies for the coming year.

Lose extra weight

Dropping just 9 pounds can reduce systolic blood pressure by 4.5 mm Hg and diastolic by 3mm Hg, according to a 2014 review. Go to the 2017 guidelines published by the American College of Cardiology for more information. You can also refer to my blog published in the Tallahassee Democrat on Nov.13, 2018 titled, “Hypertension a ‘silent killer’ that is a preventable disease.

More:Hypertension a ‘silent killer’ that can be treated

Fresh squash, zucchini and red peppers at the Market Square Farmer’s Market. Fresh vegetables are an important part of a nutritious diet.

Eat well

Proper eating habits can help you get to — and maintain — a healthy weight. Vegetarian and Mediterranean-style diets reduced body fat and weight equally. According to a study published in the journal, Circulation, in February.  However, the vegetarian diet was more effective in lowering LDL levels, and the Mediterranean diet — rich in fruits, vegetables whole grains, legumes, olive oil and lean protein — led to greater reductions in triglycerides, a blood fat linked to heart disease. Consuming less than 2,300 mg of sodium daily has also been shown to lower blood pressure.