Did I ever tell you how PASSIONATE I get about certain subjects? If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that if something comes up that just really speaks to me, I immediately jump up on my soap box with a virtual mega-phone and shout it to the world.
Well, I am about to do it again. Bare with me. But don't stop reading. Whatever you do.. do NOT stop reading.
I need to tell you something. You probably already know it, but I need to make sure you know it - do something about - and spread the info. To be exact - I need you to share this post with 5 other people. I am not kidding.
Do you know how most of us will die? No - I am not about to preach the end times. I mean seriously.. the disease that will more than likely take you down? It is heart disease, and it is the number one killer of ALL AMERICANS.
Did you know that one in three women will end up with it? That one woman dies every MINUTE from heart disease? That the risks factors are simple and prevalent: smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, family history, gender, age.
Did you know it is 80% preventable? Yeah. We can't exactly say that about cancer, can we? However, it remains the #1 killer of all people, especially women. It trumps cancer by about 5 other diseases. That's a big slide there on the death scale.
I have the greatest job in the world - where I am paid to warn people about what is probably going to kill them, and then offer the great news - you have an 80% chance of stopping it. That's pretty cool, if you ask me.
February is heart awareness month. The first Friday in February is National Wear Red Day. (Which means exactly what it says - wear red to raise awareness about heart disease cause and prevention.)
I want each one of my readers to make at least one healthy choice starting today. Something simple. Here are a few of my favorite behavior modifiers:
Make Easy Lifestyle Changes
• Look for short breaks each day (approx. 10-30 minutes) to implement heart healthy activities such as walking or other types of enjoyable physical activity
• Plan quick and simple healthy meals
• Know your family heart health history
(Take the Go Red Heart Checkup or get your Heart Score (men & women) to learn your heart disease risk)
Tips for Women at Work
• Add extra walks to and from the water cooler
• Take ten minute walks between meetings
• Use the stairs instead of the elevator
• Bring healthy snacks
• Take time for lunch and eat at regular intervals versus skipping meals
• Make time for physical activity – go to the gym and bring your favorite book or office materials to read or workout at home watching your favorite show
Tips for Moms on the Go
• Plan meals in advance – visit americanheart.org for recipes from a number of heart-healthy cookbooks and use the online grocery list builder to quickly identify heart-healthy products to add to your grocery list
• Set up “physical activity time” on a daily basis
• Walk around your neighborhood or in your office
• Run up and down the stairs
• Do an exercise video
• Walk when doing errands and park farther from your destination
• Take your kids to the park and identify play time activities that help keep you fit
• Join a walking group or ask friends to join you in daily walking
• Work out when your child is at practice or extra curricular activities
• Exercise while watching your favorite TV show
Tips for Traveling for Work/Play
• Plan a physical activity routine
• Airports and malls are great places to get in a brisk walk around the terminal or from one end of the mall to the other
• Drink plenty of water
• Take time to stretch while on the flight
• Exercise in your hotel room – simple stretches or other exercise like sit ups and push ups
• Take advantage of physical fitness facilities located in the hotel
• Pack heart-healthy snacks, fruits, and know how to manage your snack triggers
• Pack sneakers and comfortable clothes for working out
• For frequent travel keep an extra pair of tennis shoes already packed in your bag
Love Your Heart: Relaxation Tips
• Keep a journal
• Reduce stress: Plan a technology-free weekend balanced with active sports, swimming, skiing, horse-back riding, or other fun physical activity
• Celebrate your successes with healthy rewards like a massage or facial
• Read a book
It is that simple. Please join me in making your mission to inform your friends, family and loved ones about the risk involved in not taking care of themselves and how to prevent this death trap known as heart disease. Our mission this year is to connect networks. Simple as that. I am telling all 195 + 248 + 134 of you that are committed to my blog. According to my weekly page counter - over a 1,000 of you view this blog. If you happen to see this - please tell 5 people. Go get your heart score at at mylifecheck.org and make a commitment to getting healthier. (PS - all of those items are free.)
I did my part - will you do yours?
GO RED FOR WOMEN!