No matter where you live, February is a hunker-down month. Whether it’s the weather, or the realization that it’s going to take more than a New Year’s promise to effect serious personal change, or the fact that you’re emotionally hung over from the holidays (followed by the obligatory January dig-out), February is a good month to re-focus. So what five things can you do for your health this month?
1) February is National Heart Month - for obvious reasons! With heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes occurring in younger and younger people (generally due to obesity), Heart Month can be a good reason to boost your New Year’s resolve to live a healthier life. February is the plateau month for resolutions, when it’s crucial to assess what’s worked so far, what hasn’t worked, and to re-affirm your reasons to change. If you’re wavering - are you skipping days to exercise? changing your plans at the last minute to justify food/exercise relapses? thinking evil thoughts about how “ridiculous” your attempt to change is - then it’s important to recognize those warning signs and rally your cheerleading support systems. Consider shortening your timeline for success - instead of “forever” why not re-commit to change your life until mid-April (10 weeks) - knowing that most resolutions die mid-March. Once you make it to mid-April, you can re-evaluate then. Finally, keep in mind that one of the absolutely most profoundly positive things you can do for your heart (and the hearts of those you love) is to stop smoking. Recent news reveals that stopping smoking can even benefit an entire city - an excellent high-quality study showed that a city-wide smoking ban resulted in a whopping 41% drop in the heart attack rate.
2) Valentine’s va-voom - rev up your luv engines by getting yourself checked under the hood. Yes, folks, it’s time to - (choose your favorite double-entendre phrase:) get your oil changed, clean your dipstick, lube up, or have your wheels rotated - possibly all at the same time. Nothing says true love like a clean bill of sexual health. But hey- some of you are saying - I don’t have any symptoms.