The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Health

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, Feb. 14 can be an opportunity to renew your commitment to a healthy lifestyle and enhance your well-being.

Chocolates and sweets may abound, but this Valentine’s Day, incorporate the following 10 tips from TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), a nonprofit weight-loss support organization, for increased peace of mind and tranquility that lasts well beyond the holiday. You may find yourself with a fuller heart and without a wider waistline.

10. Realize how great it is that you are one of a kind. Appreciate your voice, vision, and uniqueness.

9. Write down your many talents and qualities that you like about yourself. They can be as grand as flying an airplane or as simple as frequently leaving a tip at your local coffee shop. Continue being aware, and add to this list for a regular boost of self-esteem.

8. Get enough rest. According to a 2009 report in the “Archives of Internal Medicine,” people who sleep less than seven hours per night appear about three times as likely to develop respiratory illnesses as those who sleep eight hours or more. In addition to improving judgment, problem-solving, and creativity, a well-rested mind and body will have increased energy levels, making it easier to commit to an exercise and healthy eating program.

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As many parents head out to buy a special card or treat for their kids this Valentine’s Day, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers these 14 tips for showing your children how much you love them on Valentine’s Day and the whole year through:

1. Use plenty of positive words with your child. Try to avoid using sarcasm. Children often don’t understand it, and if they do, it creates a negative interaction.

2. Respond promptly and lovingly to your child’s physical and emotional needs and banish put-downs from your parenting vocabulary. Be available to listen to your child when he/she want to talk with you even if it’s an inconvenient time.

3.  Make an extra effort to set a good example at home and in public. Use words like “I’m sorry,” “please,” and “thank you.”

4. When your child is angry, argumentative or in a bad mood, give him a hug, cuddle, pat, secret sign or other gesture of affection he favors and then talk with him about it when he’s feeling better.

5. Use non-violent forms of discipline. Parents should institute both rewards and restrictions many years before adolescence to help prevent trouble during the teenage years. Allowing children of any age to constantly break important rules without being disciplined only encourages more rule violations.

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For the first time, the American Heart Association has defined “ideal cardiovascular health,” identifying seven health factors and lifestyle behaviors that support heart health.

The association created the definition as part of its effort to achieve its new national goal: By 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.

The novel focus of the new goal will be preventing heart disease and stroke, most notably by helping people identify and adopt healthier lifestyle choices. This will be the first time the American Heart Association has adopted better health as a principle goal.

In a recent survey of adult Americans, the association found 39 percent said they thought they had ideal heart health; however, 54 percent of those (and 70 percent of all respondents) said a health professional had told them they had a risk factor for heart disease and/or needed to make a lifestyle change to improve their heart health. These findings indicate most people don’t associate important risk factors, such as poor diet and physical inactivity, with heart disease.

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