RESOLUTIONS TO GOOD HEALTH – KEY LEARNINGS FROM 2020
Many of us are relieved and happy to put 2020 behind us.
It was certainly a challenging year unlike any other in modern history. I believe challenges and hard times can be blessings in disguise. It forces us to endure, pivot, reflect and most importantly learn. It provides an opportunity for us to change and improve and adapt so we are better prepared for challenging times in the future.
The most important key learning for me from 2020 is that our health and the health of our family and friends is paramount. Many had to watch their loved ones suffer and perhaps even die from COVID or underlying disease that may have been exacerbated by COVID. While each death is tragic, death is part of life and no one gets out of here alive. That makes each moment we have on Earth very precious.
Everyone starts the new year with resolutions. However, on average, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. Good habits and lifestyle changes are hard to get started and even harder to keep. Research shows it takes approximately 66 days or about 9 ½ weeks for a habit to become automatic yet most people quit after 6 weeks. You must have a big enough WHY that motivates you and disciplines you to stick with it.
Despite COVID, Cardiovascular Disease Remains the #1 Killer Worldwide
The one thing that COVID has taught us is that if you are unhealthy and have underlying health issues, you are a prime target for getting sick, hospitalized and even dying from COVID.
This is nothing new because these are the same people that die from the seasonal flu every year. To the contrary, if you are otherwise healthy and don’t suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, kidney dysfunction or pulmonary issues, then your chances of getting sick are much lower. However, I have trouble rationalizing why COVID got so much attention in 2020 but yet the deaths due to cardiovascular disease, the number one killer of men and women worldwide for the past 100 years, appears to be acceptable. One in every four death is due to cardiovascular disease.
There are over 610,000 deaths each and every year from heart disease and the numbers are not going down. Every 42 seconds someone has a heart attack. Each minute someone dies from a heart diseaserelated event. The amount of people dying from cardiovasculardisease is equivalent to 4 jumbo jets crashingand killing everyone on board every single hourof every single day eachyear.
This should be headline news every day. And yet we know cardiovascular disease is preventable and even treatable and curable. If you have underlying cardiovascular issues, you put yourself at risk for viral and bacterial infection and increase your risk of death by ten times. Why isn’t this the major news headlines? It should be.
The cause of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, pulmonary disease and erectile dysfunction is loss of nitric oxide production. It is the loss of nitric oxide that also puts you at risk for getting sick from COVID or the flu. Science has revealed to us over the past 40 years what causes a loss of nitric oxide production and we certainly know the clinical consequences of such.
5 Recommendations to Improve Your Health in 2021
So if there is one thing you should do this year, it should be to improve your health, optimize your nitric oxide levels and start to combat your underlying health issues. Below are my 5 recommendations on what you can do for the first 66 days of 2021 to develop good habits to improve your health.
- Stop using mouthwash and fluoride toothpastes. Mouthwash use has been shown to kill the good nitric oxide producing bacteria and cause your blood pressure to increase as well as eradicate the benefits of exercise. Fluoride is an antiseptic, neurotoxin and disrupts normal thyroid function. Low thyroid is a major contributor to obesity and weight gain.
- Stop eating a high carbohydrate diet. Avoid white foods, especially highly processed foods. A high glycemic diet will cause glycation (sugars sticking to proteins) of the enzyme that makes nitric oxide and cause insulin resistance and diabetes. Furthermore, carbohydrates do not contain any nitrate or nitrite.Eat a diet high in protein and vegetables. Include more dark leafy vegetables in your diet such as kale, spinach, arugula, cabbage, lettuce and beets. If you boil them, drink the water since many of the water soluble vitamins and minerals are leached out in the water, including nitrite and nitrate. These foods are rich in fiber and will help you feel satiated and not hungry.
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every single day. You must make time to exercise. It must become a habit. Your exercise must increase your heart rate and you must exert yourself to where you sweat. If your heart rate is not increased and you are not sweating, you are not working hard enough. Start with half hour per day and then increase by 10 minutes every week until you can exercise uninterrupted for one hour every day. The secret to weight loss and improved cardiovascular function is to burn more calories than you consume. Limit your daily calories to 2000 or less. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise will burn around 250 calories.
- Consider supplementing your diet with good, clean supplements and nutritional products. Most Americans are deficient in simple nutrients like magnesium, iodine, selenium, chromium, and many others. Your body cannot heal without the nutrients and raw materials it needs to make a new cell that works properly. Nitric oxide products are essential, especially if you have underlying health issues.
- Take half an hour each day to pray, meditate and to give thanks. Wellness is a balance of our physical, emotional and spiritual health. Create your WHY. What is your reason for living? What special gift do you have to share with others and the world? Once you have your WHY, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals.
Our health is our most important asset. Without it, we cannot enjoy the fruits of our labor, enjoy time with family and friends and we become a prisoner in our own body. To me, there is nothing worse than loss of our freedom.
Your risk of getting cardiovascular disease and dying from COVID is determined by one thing and that is nitric oxide. If that does not light your fire, then, as we say in Texas, your wood must be wet.
As we navigate through 2021, take the steps starting today to improve your health. Resolve to change your diet and lifestyle for 66 days to make it a habit. Also consult with your physician before you begin any new exercise regimen. Most Americans are over-medicated and many medications will cause exercise intolerance. Discuss with your physician about how to wean off certain medications as you make changes in your life.
Each of us has a responsibility to take control of our own health. We should not and cannot rely on our health care system to make us better. It has failed us for decades. You are your best medicine. It just takes discipline and consistency.