Oct. 25, 2011 — As a Christian I have learned that knowing God’s Word is not enough, change takes place when I practice it.
This concept is true in many areas of our lives.
I was reminded of how much I know, yet fail to apply, in the area of healthy behaviors when I went to the clinic for blood work, which is part of the women’s health screening offered annually by Northeastern Rural Health Clinics.
When filling out a questionnaire about how much exercise I routinely get; how many servings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains I consumed daily; and how much water I drank it was difficult to recall my usual habits.
As I thought about what I know and what I do, I realized there was a vast difference.
For example, I know I should exercise at least a half hour a day but frequently I allow scheduling difficulties to squeeze the time I plan to allot to the treadmill off my daily planner.
Therefore, my knowledge and daily habits do not result in healthy behavior.
In my mind I am thinking “exercise” but in reality I rarely follow through.
Mostly I am sitting in a chair at my desk working on the computer. (Pending writing deadlines always take priority over the treadmill, cycling, walking, kayaking, etc.).
The obvious benefit to exercise is that it controls weight (haven’t yet stepped on the doctor’s scales).
Also it increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) referred to as “good” cholesterol and decreases triglycerides.
This decreases the risk of heart disease.
There are other diseases exercise helps prevent such as stroke, diabetes and some cancer.
I will probably be shocked if I am told that my blood tests show I have high cholesterol or if I am diagnosed with hypertension but the fact that exercise rates low on my priorities could play a factor.
Then of course there are the health problems caused by the food we eat. In my mind I eat healthy, but if I were to track what I put in my mouth would it fit that category?
I know that saturated fat and trans fat are not good for me, but I don’t read package labels that often to know if the cracker, cookie or chips I just ate were made with oil containing trans fats.
I keep a binder for health information and one of the articles I saved states that my daily consumption of saturated fat should be no more than 7 percent of my total calories; the trans fats, 1 percent.
Unfortunately I rarely track how many calories I eat in a day and I have never tracked the consumption of various types of fat.
Maybe I will after my doctor visit when I get the results of my blood test.
On the plus side I do eat many foods that make the heart healthy list.
For example, salmon, flaxseed, oatmeal, black beans, walnuts, tuna, brown rice, spinach and broccoli to name a few.
Soon I will know the consequences of my behavior, both healthy and unhealthy practices.
Hopefully by this time next year, I will have begun to practice more of the healthy behaviors I know are best.
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