Heart disease is still the number one killer in the United States, even though it can be prevented with a just few simple lifestyle changes. Call it ignorance, lack of motivation, or a complete disregard for personal health; certain people continue to put themselves at risk of dying from a heart attack. Lists of excuses may have superseded action, however as of late, a lack of money is no longer an issue in maintaining good health. Medicare is now covering programs that contribute to positive lifestyle changes, such as yoga, healthy eating, and relaxation.
Based on an agenda that teaches clients about plant-based diets, meditation, and regular exercise, the Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease is one of the plans covered by Medicare. It is employed to teach patients how to take better care of their heart.
Nutrition, stress management, moderate exercise and group support are the four components that make up the program. Contrary to popular belief that a new pill or potion will erase poor lifestyle habits, the Dean Ornish program let’s people regain their health by doing it the old fashioned way, by earning it.
Quitting smoking, doing yoga, eating a relatively meatless diet, and developing close relationships with others are a few key factors that foster heart health. Ornish believes that patients who undergo positive lifestyle changes will inevitably feel better, resulting in a genuine motivation to keep up the good work. He explains, “When we are inspired to change out of a desire to feel good rather than a fear of death, those changes will be sustainable,” also adding that when patients are reimbursed, they are also likely to stick with it.
Yoga, as a total mind and body exercise, is a very effective method to reduce stress and instill feelings of hope, especially for someone with heart disease. Thankfully Medicare is jumping on the bandwagon to offer yoga and meditation before expensive surgeries or premature death ensue. For those who are not covered by any type of health insurance, have no fear. Yoga can be done anywhere, and at anytime. Although some classes may be a bit pricey, as professional and world-renowned yoga teacher Rodney Yee states, “The only equipment needed to practice yoga is your body and your mind.”
There is an abundance of resources available at no cost that can teach us all how to make positive lifestyle choices and practice good habits. Research suggests heart disease can be prevented, but a little effort is necessary. We must constantly search not for a quick fix, but for tried and true ways that will make us feel better and be healthier.
April 12th, 2012