“Don’t be so hard on yourself!”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself!”
By: Lakhwinderpal Singh

Coming from a family who suffers from various health problems, I take anything regarding health seriously. If I may date back, I recollect my father telling me all the men in my family suffer from blood pressure, poor blood circulation and who knows what else. It is mostly the diet back in India where people think they can get away by eating high sugar, high carbohydrates but they justify this speculation due to the fact everyone in my family is a farmer and working in the field and sweating away will keep you healthy which is true but you are still affecting you’re heart health. Hearing stories from my grandfather on how he use to work in the farms in our various properties we own, he would start his day off by eating a really heavy breakfast filled with oil and high carbohydrates, so much sugar in the tea which was made with whole cow milk. Just thinking about that makes my heart stop. I have lived in India for a few short years but most of my time was spent in Stockholm, Sweden and Brooklyn, New York and in all my years, I have eaten bad and never considered my heart health may be jeopardized. My family has implanted this thought in my mind “you can eat whatever you want as long as you are active” and for many years, I did do so but I would feel horrible after eating these meals. I was naive to the fact I was activating a ticking time bomb to detonate in the future.

Fast forward to 2003, knowing my family has a history of heart problems, I decided to join the gym as a free gift to my brother who had a guest pass. He talked to me into joining and I thought to myself “I do not have to buy you anything and this is free!!” so I jumped right into training and I trained extremely hard. In the coming weeks, I started to notice results of my hard work and diet. I was not eating greasy foods, just sticking to light and healthy meals. My motto was “eat to satisfy, not to stuff” and I have lived with that motto till present and still a big advocate of it. It was a great feeling knowing I am preventing further ailments from occurring internally so I can live an active lifestyle for my kids and wife in the future. My dad is a heart patient who has suffered a heart attack back in 2010; he also suffers from high blood pressure and minor diabetes.
After doing much research, I know diseases like these are heredity and I know I cannot go against genetics but I know I can alter and make things work for me. I have been going to the gym strong for 10 years. I try to influence all my peers about maintaining good heart health and also advising them in maintaining a great diet. They all tell me they go to the gym but I tell them you are at the gym for one to two hours per day, if that but what are you doing for the rest of the day? I tell them it is mostly diet; taking your multivitamins and eating fruits. You’re heart is a muscle that needs to be worked out and fed properly. Being I am in a Healthcare program at my college, I am always researching and trying to learn new ways to gain more knowledge about nutrition, work out routines and living a productive life. I have many of my friends at the gym always asking me for advice on diets, workout routines and supplements because before I take any supplements, I research it. I like to know exactly what I am ingesting into my body.

Best advice in promoting heart health is an effective workout routine with a great healthy diet including high fiber intake along with fruits and vegetables. It is a holistic way of improving heart health. The more active you are, stronger you’re heart will become. Heart health is also improved by taking your multivitamins and drinking lots of water; diet low in fats. Implementing different types of cardio to train your heart is another great route to take when changing up your workout routine.

As I move on in my life, work and family will always come first but I will never forget to maintain great heart health so I can live a full life. It can be difficult but one must look 10, 20, even 30 years from now and say “How can I reach all these years and add another 20 years?”