Multi-­tasking: A Key to Better Health

Multi-­tasking: A Key to Better Health
By: Malia Anderson

How can an individual change his or her lifestyle to promote a healthy heart and holistic well being? 

Multitasking has become a common phrase in modern society. We are ever striving to be more efficient and get more and more out of our time: we eat on the go, do homework while jogging on the treadmill, engage in important business calls while driving, work via satellite while on vacation, or do things like iron, watch a movie, make dinner, and plan the next days schedule all at the same time. It’s about time we employ our multitasking skills to benefit our health and our happiness. The things we love doing are just as important when it comes to maintaining good heath as the things we tell ourselves we have to do. Sources of enjoyment such as eating, laughing, and playing can also contribute to a healthier heart.

Eating

&Food is a luxury of life that we all like to indulge in. You don’t have to plug your nose and chug a green drink to reap the health benefits you are looking for. The next time you set out to please the pallet, consider foods high in omega-­‐3’s such as: oatmeal, nuts, avocado’s, and salmon or other fish. You can also sprinkle a little flax seed on any meal. Research shows that a diet rich in omega-­‐3’s reduces the risk of stroke1 and the National Institute of Health has stated that omega-­‐3’s play a role in lowering the risk of heart attack2. Another heart healthy food is berries, which are high in antioxidants. A diet rich in antioxidants has been shown to help prevent heart disease3. So indulge a little and treat your heart and taste buds to a delicious omega-­‐ 3 and antioxidant rich meal.

Laughing

We all enjoy a good laugh. The American Heart Association recommends stress management as one of the key components to living a healthy lifestyle, and what better medicine for this then a good laugh4? Weather it’s going to the movies to watch the latest comedy, working in the garden, playing with the grand kids, spending time with friends and family, or whatever it is that brings a smile to your face, know that taking time out of the day to enjoy life is beneficial to your heart.

Playing

The next time you want to go mountain biking, skiing, surfing, running, dancing, yoga, etc, don’t brush it off thinking you don’t have time for it. The American Heart Association reports research shows that as little as 2 1⁄2 hours of moderate exercise, or just over an hour of vigorous exercise, a week is beneficial to maintaining a healthy heart4. The next time you want to get out and play, go for it and know that that not only are you playing but you are also contributing to your health.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be boring, hard, or take time away from your busy schedule. You can stay healthy while having fun. Simply doing the things you enjoy such as, eating, laughing, and playing, can also contribute to a healthy lifestyle and act as preventative measures to guard against heart disease. Use those great multitasking skills that society has taught you to enjoy life and improve your health.

Bibliography

Delgado-­‐Lista, J., Perez-­‐Martinez, P., Lopez-­‐Miranda, J. & Perez-­‐Jimenez, F. Long chain omega-­‐3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review. Br J Nutr 107 Suppl 2, S201-­‐213 (2012).

Health, N.I.o. Omega-­‐3 fatty acids, fish oil, alpha-­‐linolenic acid. (2005).

Aviram, M. Review of human studies on oxidative damage and antioxidant protection related to cardiovascular diseases. Free Radic Res 33 Suppl, S85-­‐97 (2000).

The American Heart Association Back to Scholarship page