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Changing Our Habits

 

For all intense purposes, the changes in our habits stated back in December of 1999 when my husband had his heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery. But it was not an easy change by any means. As since that time, there have been a number of things going on in our lives that have brought on yet more changes. However, with these changes, we have felt better and been healthier.

 

Changes in Our Diet

The most difficult of the changes was getting use to a less fatty diet and eating things we don't necessarily like or care to eat. Out habits in eating were something to be desired before my husband's health stated failing him. We ate what we wanted, when we wanted and never once thought about what we were doing to our bodies. The foods we ate were the largest contributing factor to what is now going on, and it did a number to us. Though we eat healthier and more foods that actually give the body nutrients now, we have a tendency to miss the things we use eat so much of.

Although diet is an important factor for anyone, we have decided that sticking to the diet recommended by Harold's doctors is the absolute best way to go. This doesn't mean that we don't treat ourselves every now and then, it just means that we do things with more moderation and common sense. Lets just say that we have a better perspective now than before and that we decided that what we eat is as important as exercising daily.

However, with every passing day, we find it a bit difficult to stick with the diet that is right for us for the simple fact that we aren't allow a lot of the things we use to enjoy so much. Eating healthier doesn't always mean that you'll like what is best for you. So it's a daily struggle that is necessary to keep us on the right track.

 

Changes in Exercise

Long before the heart attack, we lived on a farm and thought that feeding time for the animals and taking care of the farm itself was good exercise. We were wrong!!! It good only to a certain extent and that is it. It help to build muscle, but didn't help not to build fat. We spent our days working like mules instead of getting the proper exercise necessary to maintain strong bodies in the important ways. Working like mules didn't hurt us, but on the other hand, it did. So when Harold had his heart attack, the doctors stress that we needed to concentrate on building endurance for daily stress on the heart itself.

Now instead of working like mules, we walk more and doing exercises meant to maintain muscle and promote losing fat that is unhealthy for the body. This includes maintaining the muscles in the hands and feet by using different things designed to do so. We were told that simple rubber balls could promote hand muscle and we use them regularly. We were also told that simple movement of the toes and ankles would help the muscles in the feet if we were unable to take our walks.  Here's a list of our exercise methods:

 

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A 15 to 20 minute walk daily (normal walking or on a treadmill).

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A child's rubber ball to exercise the hands.

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An item such as hand weights to exercise the arm muscles (no more that 5 lbs.).

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Simple legs lefts to promote knee mobility and reduce our arthritis pain. This also helps to maintain the muscles around the knees.

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Stomach exercises where we hold it in and then release to promote muscle and lose fat.

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Leg bends to promote upper and lower leg muscle.

 

The exercise methods above are only a few that we use daily, but it gives you an idea of what we now do to maintain and promote better health.

 

Changes in Our Rest Patterns

As most people know, the amount of sleep one gets is extremely important in promoting good health and muscle tone. But our sleep habits were never like they should be and we still have problems in this area of our lives. Neither of us sleep good and we tend to be up more than we sleep by far. We seldom get that all important 8 hours of sleep that most people's bodies require. In fact, we are the worst examples when it comes to setting a bed time and sticking to it. But then, we also deal with a lot of pain on a daily basis, so sleep doesn't easily for us on any given day or night.

Out of the two of us, I must admit that I'm do the worst on sleep. Harold doesn't do must better than myself and sleeps very little much of the time. But in my case, I can always think of something more to do. With several websites to maintain, it seems like I'm on my computer 99% of my waking hours. Which can range from 14 to 18 hours a day without any problem. Much of the time, I force myself to quit for the day and get some sleep. If I have a website in trouble, then I'll spend countless hours on it non-stop until it is taken care of. With this website, it wasn't a matter of quitting working on it, as it was getting the mind to relax and quit thinking about it.

Then, I consider the time that I spend taking extra care of my husband and his healthcare. That in itself is a 24 hour job at times, especially when there are surgeries involved at any given point. I do priority things such as the husband without question first, and anything in between is bonus work. A persons health and well-being should always come before websites in trouble regardless of what is wrong with what website. My first and foremost priority is our health these days, regardless of who thinks or says anything else. And in the process of taking extremely good care of my husband, my sleep pays the price lots of times. So I make the sacrifice and I do what needs doing, even if it means losing sleep to help my husband recover and heal.

As anyone can guess, our rest and relax patterns haven't changed much at all. To this day, we still stay up way to late and get up way to early for the time that we go to sleep. And the doctors all have a fit about it, and with good reason. It's completely and totally way to hard on anyone's body to go the way we do no matter what age they are. Since the midsection and grown surgery, Harold's vascular doctors have been on me to get more rest than I do. And I'm just now (11/8/06) starting to relax more. So we do not recommend going without sleeping under any circumstances. It's way to hard on anyone's body.

 

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Established November 1, 2006

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