While most people probably don’t think too much about the state of their heart until they reach middle age, starting some healthy habits earlier is a pretty smart idea. “While it’s never too late to change your lifestyle or approach to heart health, the earlier you start to make healthier choices, the greater the benefits,” says Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University and president-elect of American Heart Association. “The longer you spend with higher blood pressure or cholesterol, the more damage is being done to your heart and vascular system—and once that damage is done, it’s difficult if not impossible to put the horse back in the barn.”
When you work out in a group fitness class or with a trainer, you typically don’t have to worry about boredom. Your instructor presents new challenges to keep your mind interested and your body progressing. It can be harder to maintain that excitement and ability to keep moving forward at home. But it isn’t impossible—or expensive. And you don’t need to spend hours searching for new workouts online.
2020 was a series of roller coasters that reshaped everyday life, including how we view and treat our overall health and mental wellness. If it has taught us anything, it’s that when faced with challenges beyond our control we can adapt and find new forms of self care—including ways to connect and be there for one another.
If you usually love yet hate the shopping, cooking, cleaning, traveling, or spending that’s associated with the winter holidays, remember that there is at least one silver lining to the pandemic: It may make it easier to take a more laid-back approach to the holiday season this year.
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