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Healthier Attitude = Healthier Hearts

With February being National Heart Health month, and the week of February 7 thru February 14 being National Marriage Week, I thought it would be appropriate to share some interesting information about the heart from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.  People who have upbeat outlooks on life have significantly better cardiovascular health according to a new study that examined associations between optimism and heart health in more the 5,100 adults.

“Individuals with the highest levels of optimism have twice the odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health compared to their more pessimistic counterparts,” said Rosalba Hernandez, lead author of the study.  Seven metrics were used to assess cardiovascular health:

  • Blood pressure
  • Body mass index
  • Fasting plasma glucose and serum cholesterol levels
  • Dietary intake
  • Physical activity
  • Tobacco use

The participants, who ranged in age from 45-84, also completed surveys that assessed their mental health, levels of optimism, and physical health (arthritis, liver and kidney disease).

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People who were the most optimistic were 50 and 76 percent more likely to have total health scores in the intermediate or ideal ranges, respectively.  Optimists had significantly better blood sugar and total cholesterol levels than their counterparts.  They were also more physically active, had healthier body mass indexes and were less likely to smoke, according to a paper on the research.

So what does this all mean?  When you find yourself stressed over work, family, health, and life in general, remember to slow down, set your priorities, and let others help.  Learn to say “no” from time to time, and be sure to enjoy the blessings that have given to you!


Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes

This popular series is quickly approaching!  The materials have been updated and the dates have been set.  If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with diabetes, this series is for you!  Write these dates on your calendar, and watch for more information in the coming weeks:

  • Tuesday, March 24 – Getting Started: How Food Affects Your Blood Glucose
  • Thursday, March 26 – Are You Eating the Right Number of Carbohydrates?  Let’s Find Out
  • Tuesday, March 31 – Beyond the Diet: Improving Your Blood Glucose Control with Physical Activity
  • Thursday, April 2 – Improving Your Blood Glucose with Medication
  • Tuesday, April 7 – Celebrating Diabetes Control While Avoiding Complications: Having Your Cake and Eating it, Too!

All sessions will be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 1:30 p.m.  There will be a minimal fee of $25, payable at the first session, which will include materials, refreshments, cooking demonstrations, and door prizes.  Please call 903-885-3443 to sign up.  Class will be limited to the first 25.


Closing Thought

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you, as by the attitude you bring to life – Kahlil Gibran

Johanna Hicks
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Family & Consumer Sciences
1200-B W. Houston
P.O.Box 518
Sulphur springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 – phone
903-439-4909 – Fax
[email protected]

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