One of the main reasons people struggle to eat and live in a heart-healthy manner is lack of time. Many of us are running from one activity to the next and don't even have enough time to get in the recommended amount of sleep per night. When it comes to food, we grab whatever is convenient. This often means buying already prepared store-bought food or eating in restaurants. The likelihood this type of food will be detrimental to your efforts to lower your cholesterol and improve your heart health is high. In addition, other heart-healthy activities like exercise, sleep, and downtime go by the wayside when we are super busy.
If you want to lower your cholesterol naturally and improve your heart health, you are going to have to make time to eat and live in a healthy way. There is no way around it. Yes, there are tricks and short cuts to make it easier to eat and live in a way that will lower your cholesterol and improve your heart health, but the bottom line is you have to make room in your life for heart-healthy activities by freeing up time in your currently busy schedule.
A great way to start freeing up time is by writing down every single activity that takes up your time each day. Track your daily activities for a week. Next, think about each of these activities to determine which ones can be delayed, delegated, diminished or made to disappear.
An activity that is delayed is one that doesn't have to happen right away. It can wait. An example might be putting off a visit from a friend during a time that you know will be particularly busy. Some activities can be delegated to other family members or hired help. For instance, if each person in a family of four cooked one meal a week and made enough for another day, that's 8 meals, but each person is only cooking once. And what about the yard work? Do you love to do it? If you do, you may want to keep this activity on your schedule, but if you don't, hire a yard service. If you decide to diminish a task, it means you do not plan to do the task as often or as thoroughly as you have in the past.
Consider dusting the house every two weeks instead of every week. Buy a few extra clothes so that laundry doesn't need to be done as often. Tasks that aren't essential can literally be "made to disappear". One such task may be writing and mailing checks by hand. There is no need to take the time to do this when there is on-line banking. Another possibility is to stop watching a TV show that you don't really love, but you are simply in the habit of watching it.
Once you identify the activities during your day that can be delayed, delegated, diminished, or made to disappear, think about what heart-healthy activity you are going to fill the time with. Exercise? Extra Sleep? Connecting to friends? Taking up a yoga class? Cooking more often at home? Taking some much needed "me" time?
If you can free up just a little bit of time in your life to incorporate some type of healthy activity, you are going to be on your way to seeing improvement in your cholesterol levels and your overall heart-health. To get started, purchase a small notebook today and put it into your purse or briefcase. Tomorrow start recording your activities. In one week's time, decide what you are going to do about each of the activities recorded with the goal of freeing up time in your life.