One Step Resolution
December 20, 2010
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By: Stacy Sawyer
It's that time again...time to make those New Year resolutions. I admit there's something rejuvenating about taking down the old calendar and hanging up a new one. It's like a fresh start, the perfect time to consider the potential that exists with a brand-new, blank slate. How do we improve ourselves...as parents, as spouses, as sons and daughters, as employees, as business leaders, as Americans?
At first, it may seem a daunting task to improve yourself in all those areas. It does to me. But then I had an amazing revelation and realized that I could realistically do better in just one way. By changing just one thing, by making just one change and sticking with it, I will get one step closer to my potential. I don't have to be perfect, just...better.
That is the same philosophy employed by the American Heart Association when we announced our 2020 goal last January: to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent. The association identified three categories of cardiovascular health - poor, intermediate and ideal - and then set out to help Americans make strides to move from one category to the next. How? Our science and research volunteers identified seven factors, called Life's Simple 7, as the key elements to living a healthy life: get active, control cholesterol, eat better, manage blood pressure, lose weight, reduce blood sugar and stop smoking.
These measures have one unique thing in common: any person can make these changes, and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference.
I encourage you to find out where you stand with the simple seven by taking the My Life Check assessment at www.mylifecheck.org
In just a few minutes, you will know how you're doing with each one of Life's Simple Seven, and get your own personal heart score. Your results will include recommended areas of focus and an action plan customized to fit your lifestyle and health outlook.
As our past national president, Clyde Yancy, MD, said, "The last step is a promise: a resolution to make healthy positive changes step-by-step, for a long, healthy future." And isn't now the perfect time of year for that?
All the best for a joyous holiday season and a healthy 2011!
Communications Director -- American Heart Association
I invite your questions and feedback
Stacy Sawyer is the Director of Communications for the American Heart Association. She can be reached at (989) 225-7513.
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