This post was sponsored by Let’s Be Well. All opinions are my own.
Let’s admit it: healthy aging is a goal!
The secrets to healthy aging are elusive. Everybody ages but it’s how we do it that matters; and finding improved ways to grow older can bring untold benefits, both physical and economic. Aging brings about many challenges that we and our families inevitably must face.
It’s not something we really think about in our youth. Learning our family history as years go by and watching our elder loved ones deal with serious health conditions such as heart disease is what usually prompts us to take an assessment of our own health and life expectancy; and what actions we can take to ensure the healthiest life possible for ourselves.
Nothing rings truer once we are over the age of forty. That was certainly the case for me!
I have a long history of heart conditions in my family. My father struggled with high blood pressure, and my mother died from heart disease in 1990 at the age of 53. The older I get, the more I realize that some of the personal wellness factors that plagued my parents in their heart health are the same ones that I struggle with. It is a constant battle to properly manage my anxiety and I do not get as much sleep as I should. I get frustrated easily in daily activities and interactions – to the point where the tiniest things upset me. Additionally, my physical activity level is nearly nonexistent.
Whoa. Talk about a health reality check!
I want to live much longer than my mother did. And I don’t want my quality of life to succumb at the hands of stress and anxiety, poor sleep habits, or a sedentary lifestyle. To make that happen, I need to commit to a lifestyle of healthy aging now – and it begins with working to improve my heart health.
Maybe you too got a ‘health reality check’ in your forties like I did. Or maybe you’re younger (or older) and want to start making your heart health and self-care a priority. Whichever the case, I want to let you know that you’re not alone – we’re in this together!
And we both might be feeling the same way. We want to make the change, but sometimes those first steps on the journey can be overwhelming. We don’t even know where to start.
That’s where the Let’s Be Well Healthy Heart Box can help.
Created by a partnership between AARP and the American Heart Association, the carefully curated products, resources, and information included as part of the Let’s Be Well Healthy Heart Box can play an integral role in encouraging healthy aging as the body’s needs change over time, preventing serious heart-related illnesses, or minimizing existing ones.
The Let’s Be Well Healthy Heart Box is a convenient, affordable, and practical way to get a great start on a path to healthy aging and wellness by focusing on eating better, relieving stress, being active, managing blood pressure, and heart health education – the five key areas of improving heart health.
“When you open this box, we want you to feel inspired to become the best version of you. It all starts with one small step.” – AARP/American Heart Association
Eat Better – Cooking in color Cookbook
It’s no secret that eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is directly linked to a longer, healthier life. In fact, just 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily could reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The Cooking in Color Cookbook included in the Let’s Be Well Healthy Heart Box makes it easy to find ways to incorporate healthy eating with more fruits and vegetables into our diet.
*HEALTH FACT: Only about 1 in 10 U.S. adults eat the recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables.
5 Reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables
- Full of the good – Fruits and vegetables provide many beneficial nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein, calcium, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Add fruits and veggies to meals and snacks for a nutritional power boost.
- Free of the bad – Fruits and vegetables typically contain no trans-fat, low saturated fat and very little or no sodium. The natural sugars they contain don’t affect health the same way added sugars do, especially if whole fruits or vegetables and not just the juice are consumed.
- Lightweight yet satisfying – Fruits and vegetables tend to be low in calories, so they can help manage weight while still satisfying hunger, thanks to the fiber and water they contain. Replacing higher-calorie foods with fruits and vegetables is an easy first step to a healthier eating plan.
- Super flexible superfoods – All forms of fruits and vegetables – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice – can be part of a healthy diet. They can be eaten raw or cooked, whole or chopped, organic or not, and alone or in combination with other foods. They are among the most versatile, convenient and affordable foods we can eat.
- A whole-body health boost – A healthy eating plan rich in fruits and vegetables can help lower the risk of many serious and chronic health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, kidney disease, osteoporosis and some types of cancer. They’re also essential to many daily functions of a healthy body.
This cookbook is full of fun, heart-healthy recipes, with insight into the proven technique of healthy cooking with color using a wide array of various fruits and vegetables. The recipes are simple to make—and tasty, too!
Relieve Stress – Lavender Eye Mask
Managing stress and maintaining proper sleep habits are essential for good heart health. Did you know that seven to nine hours of sleep per night for adults is generally recommended to promote optimal health? Additionally, practices like relaxation, meditation, and yoga offer a variety of health benefits and improves overall quality of life.
The Gaiam Relax Restorative Eye Pillow can be used to encourage more restful sleep and deeper relaxation during moments of downtime.
This soft and soothing satin-covered eye pillow has a lavender scented fill that provides natural calming aromatherapy to help relieve tension and stress.
*FACT: Stress is often an underlying factor contributing to unhealthy habits. According to a 2012 report from the American Psychological Association, 39% of Americans reported eating unhealthy foods or eating too much to deal with stress, and another 13 percent of Americans report drinking alcohol to manage stress.
Be Active – Walking Weights
Looking for a way to improve brain power, feel better and sleep better, and save money? Increasing physical activity does all of that and much more! Getting the recommended amount of physical activity can help improve mental health, cognitive function and lower the risk of depression. Regular moderate-to-vigorous physical activity is also linked to lower risk of diseases, stronger bones and muscles.
Walking is a great way to fit consistent physical activity into a busy schedule! It’s easy to fit in a few minutes of walking a several times a day – which is important because just 25 minutes of brisk walking a day can add up to seven more years of life expectancy and reduce the health effects of aging.
Why walking is a great (and popular) form of exercise
Research has shown that walking at a lively pace at least 150 minutes a week can help people:
- Reduce risk of serious diseases like cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and several types of cancer.
- Improve blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels.
- Increase energy and stamina.
- Improve mental and emotional well-being.
- Reduce risk of dementia.
- Reduce risk of osteoporosis.
- Prevent weight gain.
Using Walking Weights adds light resistance to help maximize walking workouts. The sand-filled weights included in the Let’s Be Well Healthy Heart Box come in a 2lb set that are soft and moldable for a secure and comfortable hold.
Another reason to more and get walking: research has shown that adults who are active typically pay less in healthcare than those who are inactive. One study estimated physical inactivity accounts for up to 3% of total direct health expenses in the United States.
General Heart Health Education – Let’s Be Well Content Booklet and Journal, Grocery Store Map
The Let’s Be Well Journal brings two great benefits in one! Comprehensive, yet easy-to-understand content, plus a thoughtfully designed daily journal. The book is designed using simple inspirational prompts and tips for healthy living.
Additionally, the Grocery Store Map is a convenient guide to navigating the grocery store, efficiently and effectively, with insights and tips to make healthier choices in every aisle.
Without a doubt, the Let’s Be Well Healthy Heart Box is the perfect way to be our own health advocates by taking control of our personal cardiovascular health journey for healthier aging and a better life.
Get the tools to manage your heart health delivered directly to your doorstep! Purchase the Let’s Be Well Healthy Heart Box here. Also, share your own Box testimonials as well as heart health and healthy aging journey stories on social media with @LetsBeWellBox on Facebook and Instagram.