Welcome to February. This month it’s all about hearts — not only the chocolate Valentine’s kind, but Heart Awareness month as well. The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women is a movement to end heart disease and to inspire women to take charge of their heart health. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in women.
Genes can influence our predisposition to the development of heart disease. So knowing our family history is essential. I have close relatives with high blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease. Although I’ve maintained a healthy weight my entire life, I still had high cholesterol at my last checkup.
After discussing it with my doctor, we agreed to try to control it with diet and exercise first. I’ve started sticking to a plant-based diet, like the Mediterranean diet. I try to have to have 2-3 days meat free days a week. Additionally, I’ve cut down on salt, and added more cardio to my workout routine.
The Mediterranean consists of:
- Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats
- Serving fish twice a week and limiting red meat
- Having moderate amounts of poultry, dairy and eggs
The benefits of exercise are well known for healthy aging. It reduces the risk of heart disease, helps lower blood pressure, increases bone density and improves our skin. Even sitting for too long is unhealthy.
Keeping fitness fun is an excellent way to maintain it throughout the year and not get bored. At the gym I go to cycling, barre, yoga classes and workout on the machines. I also enjoy long walks. Changing the routine up helps use different muscles and keeps the boredom from sneaking in
Beyond the physical benefits of exercising, group fitness lifts my spirits. I think it’s upbeat music and being with other like-minded people that keeps me pushing on.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices Help Prevent Heart Disease
- Control High Blood pressure. This disease is called the silent killer because often there aren’t any symptoms. If it goes untreated, high blood pressure can damage major organs, including the heart.
- Manage blood sugar. If Diabetes is not treated, it can damage organs, including the heart.
- Maintain A Normal Weight . This goal is easier with healthy eating and regular exercise habits. The recommended amount of exercise is 30-60 minutes per day of moderate activity,
- Don’t smoke. Smoking increases our risk for heart disease and stroke.
Spread the word. Please tell every woman you know that heart disease is our number one killer. Take charge of your heart health! Have a great week! Don’t forget to subscribe to receive updates of every posting.
References from Go Red For Women website and the Mayo Clinic.
This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer for more information.