Heart Healthy Advice from Cardiologist Moms

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By: , – Jeannette Moninger, Family Circle
2/5/2013 6:00 AM   :  9 comments   :  11,351 Views

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Find Reasons to Move
 
Sharonne Hayes, M.D., has a demanding schedule as director of the Mayo Clinic Women's Heart Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, which leaves scant time for hourlong workouts. So she makes an effort to get her physical activity in shorter increments throughout the day. "Studies show you reap the same health benefits in 10-minute bursts of activity," she says. She shuns the elevator for stairs, and you won't find her cruising the mall parking lot looking for a spot close to the entrance. "I'm an opportunistic exerciser. I fit it in whenever and wherever I can," she says—and so do her kids. This summer Dr. Hayes' 13-year-old son skipped the carpool and rode his bike to swim team practices. In the evening the entire family catches up on favorite TV shows while lifting weights or using cardio machines in their exercise room. "When the kids see my husband and me being active, it inspires them to join in," says Dr. Hayes. "Plus, it's a great way to spend time together as a family." 
 
Skip the Kids' Meals
 
Slow-cooker meals and dishes prepared on the weekends make it easier for Stephanie Coulter, M.D., associate director of noninvasive cardiology at the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, to get dinner on the table in a hurry during the week. But eating at home isn't always practical when one of her daughters has an evening sporting event. On those nights, the family makes it an occasion by dining at a restaurant, not a fast-food joint. Her 11- and 9-year-old girls will split a salad and grilled chicken from the adult menu. "I steer the girls away from the kids' meals, which are usually fried and loaded with fat, calories and salt," says Dr. Coulter. "Having them share the generally healthier adult entree is a smarter, and often more economical, way to go."
 
Buy Farm-Fresh Fare
 
Once a week Rita Redberg, M.D., director of women's cardiovascular services at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco, and her family receive a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with occasional eggs, meats and dairy products, from local farmers via a community supported agriculture program (CSA). "We get seasonal produce that's bursting with great taste and nutrients, yet low in pesticides and other additives," she says. There are more than 1,000 CSA programs nationwide and those numbers keep growing. (If one's not available in your area, Dr. Redberg suggests patronizing your local farmers' markets instead.) Her daughters actually look forward to seeing what new or unusual veggies are included in the weekly CSA package.
 
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Comments

  • 9
    This is a great article. I just got a pacemaker and some of your ideas are going to help me try new ideas.
    - 3/17/2013   8:00:51 AM
  • 8
    I have been looking to joining a CSA for over a year, time to just do it! - 2/7/2013   8:52:47 AM
  • 7
    Interesting. - 2/6/2013   5:49:47 PM
  • 6
    Great idea's here! Thanks for sharing and you're right on the pulse about the fresh foods! I feel so much better since I started avoiding food in a box,bag,etc etc : ) - 2/6/2013   3:30:20 PM
  • MARYHENNIG
    5
    So true. - 2/6/2013   2:15:17 PM
  • 4
    My own parents grew up before the Fast Food generation and got to live long. I used to eat burgers and fries almost every day when I was in my twenties. I had severe weight problems and cancer that is connected to obesity to pay for it. I wish I could turn back the clock, but I can only go forward now with new habits. - 2/6/2013   7:16:56 AM
  • 3
    Too bad more people would not realize that kids meals at fast food joints are not the way to go. They are not cheap either. You get a better meal at a restaurant and costs are very similar plus you can usually substitute salad for fries or potatoes for adults trying to count calories - 2/5/2013   11:35:31 AM
  • NGREGOR
    2
    I am also reading the auxilary articles. Thank you for the good advice that can be shared with others. - 2/5/2013   11:21:17 AM
  • RACEWELLWON
    1
    Very good article. Really practicing all of these suggestions. - 2/5/2013   10:49:23 AM

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