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More on 28 Days to a Healthier Heart

More on 28 Days to a Healthier Heart

 

As we continue with February as Heart Healthy Month, the Center for Disease and Control & Prevention reminds us that even in the midst of a long ND winter, there is more than enough time in February to achieve some big improvements in your heart health. Regular physical activity is a must for having a healthy heart. Make one small change each of February’s four weeks for a healthier you.

Week 1 - Aim for 30 minutes. Moderate-intensity exercise for 2 hours and 30 minutes every week is a great way to lower your risk of heart disease. You can even try breaking up your workout into 10-minute intervals throughout your day. If you don’t want to go to the gym, try taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood or at your local mall to kick off your new fitness habit.

Week 2 - Build muscle. Pumping iron can help your body’s most important muscle—your heart. You can begin slowly, increasing the weight and repetitions as you progress. Adding resistance training to your workout has other benefits too, including increased bone density, coordination, and keeping a healthy weight..

Week 3 -Take a class. Try salsa dancing, yoga, Pilates, or kick-boxing to add variety to your fitness routine. It’s a great way to try something new and keep your body moving. Take a friend with you and have fun exploring new activities.

Week 4- Go high-tech. Try one of the many fitness apps available on your smart phone to help reach your fitness goals. Think of it as a personal trainer in your phone ready 24/7 to give you training tips and motivation when you need it. Many of these apps are free and can log your workout progress.

For more assistance in creating an action plan for better heart health, check out “My Life Check” at http://mylifecheck.heart.org/.  This simple online assessment from the American Heart Association takes just a few minutes, and you will know where you stand on your road to good health.

The Mayo Clinic offers the following heart healthy version of an old-time favorite.

 

Apple –Blueberry Cobbler

Number of servings

 

2 large apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 ounces fresh or frozen blueberries

For the topping
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold trans-free margarine, cut into pieces
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, add the apple slices. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

In small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Add the mixture to the apples and toss gently to mix. Stir in the blueberries. Spread the apple-blueberry mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish. Set aside.

In another large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a fork, cut the cold margarine into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk and vanilla. Stir just until a moist dough forms.

Turn the dough onto a generously floured work surface and, with floured hands, knead gently 6 to 8 times until the dough is smooth and manageable. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle 1/2-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Cut close together for a minimum of scraps. Gather the scraps and roll out to make more cuts.

Place the dough pieces over the apple-blueberry mixture until the top is covered. Bake until the apples are tender and the topping is golden, about 30 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 8.  Per serving: 212 calories, 6 g fat, 202 mg sodium.

 

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