As a registered nurse I see the direct effects of heart disease on a daily basis. But as a busy working mother I barely put any thought into my own health. Going to the gym? Eating healthy? Making it to a yearly physical? Surely, I don’t have the time for that! Well guess what, we all need to make time for that.
Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women,
taking a woman’s life approximately every 80 seconds.
Heart disease results from a combination smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. These conditions cause damage to blood vessel walls and plaque buildup. The end result of the vessel damage can lead to a debilitating and sometimes fatal heart attack or stroke. I have seen this end result more times than I can count and it is devastating. While more common in older women it can happen to anyone and now is the time to focus on prevention.
The first step in prevention is knowledge.
Know your history and know your numbers! This step, in my opinion, is the easiest. It doesn’t require a change in your diet or daily routine. Talk to your mom and find out if there is a history of heart disease in your family. Then all you need to do is take 1-2 hours out of your week and visit your family physician. Every woman should know 5 important numbers:
- Total cholesterol
- Good cholesterol (HDL)
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar
- BMI (body mass index).
Then you and your physician can then make decisions together on how to manage your heart disease risk factors.
Eating healthy, managing stress and staying active are three things we can all do without doctor’s orders to prevent heart disease. Need some accountability?
Join the Sarasota Moms Blog Fitness Tribe!
It’s a place to vent about the barriers to being healthy that all moms face and celebrate victories as a community. Eating healthy is actually a lot easier than it sounds and The American Heart Association has some recipes on their page to get you started. My personal favorite heart healthy recipe is super easy!
- 1 - 2 pounds of chicken breast
- Italian seasoning
- 4 cloves of chopped garlic
- 1 bag of fresh spinach
- 1 sweet onion sliced thin
- balsamic vinegar
- 1. Season your chicken breasts with italian seasoning
- 2. Place in crockpot with garlic, tomatoes, onion, add balsamic vinegar to taste
- 3. Cook on low for 4 hours
- 4. Add spinach in during last 30 minutes
- I like to serve this with rice or whole grain pasta
I would argue that as a collective group moms are STRESSED!
A key tip to fighting stress is taking time for yourself, which is hard to do when you have other humans depending on you to keep them alive. But, you can’t take care of them if you don’t take care of yourself. So take a mommy time out. Go get your hair done, get a massage, or spend a couple hours on Siesta Key Beach. Do it! As far as getting active, moms are pretty good at that. The American Heart Association says 30 minutes a day is all it takes to make a difference in your health. And you’re going to love this one, they even say cleaning the house and baby chasing counts! For more structured workouts you can do with your littles check out two classes featured in this post Supporting Local Mompreneurs
I may have convinced you that heart disease is killer.
I may have convinced you to see your family physician and have blood work done for the first time in years.
I may have even convinced you to take the time to increase your physical activity.
But you may still be asking, why “go red”?
Awareness is the key to saving lives. If it takes a catchy campaign I’m all about it. On their website you can find many ways to raise awareness. However, I am a fan of simplicity. Make an impact in your community of friends, family and coworkers. Ask your family if they know their numbers. Ask your neighbor to join you for a daily evening walk. Invite your friends to join the fitness tribe. Then make sure that they ask someone too. Together we can raise awareness and save lives.
For more information on heart health and the go red for women campaign visit https://www.goredforwomen.org/