?Most of us think of Valentine’s Day when we think of February 14th? … Valentine’s? Day is about spending time with that special someone eating?chocolate, giving and receiving cards,?flowers, maybe even a date with your?husband??however, February is also Heart Disease Awareness Month.
I lost my grandmother on February 14, 2005 Valentines Day and?it was also her?favorite holiday of the year. ?She was diagnosed?with cervical cancer just shortly before she died on Valentine’s Day that year in my arms. She didn’t pass away from heart disease, but I suspect that her heart was not healthy either. I loved my grandmother?very much in fact?she was very much like a mother to me, since my own biological mother was not well enough to care?of me as a child. ?Since my grandmothers passing I have wanted to be as proactive as possible and educate women? about disease prevention and self-care.?Had my grandmother taken better care of herself she may still be alive today, unfortunately that isn’t what happened. My grandmother is a perfect example of how leading a sedentary lifestyle and having poor eating habits can affect the outcome of your life. I wish my grandmother were here today to see her great-grandchildren and see them grow, but that’s simply not the case.
As most of you know or perhaps?you don’t, the month of February is Heart Disease Awareness Month…therefore it is important to inform yourself and your female family members, sisters, friends, co-workers and other females you know about the importance of this month.
Did you know that heart disease is the leading killer of females in America? Not only does heart disease kill more women that men each year, but females who survive a cardiac event may have a worse outcome then their male counterparts. Yet, many women do not know the toll that cardiovascular disease ( CVD) can take on their bodies. Many women are not taking the necessary steps either to prevent this from happening to them.
As a personal trainer it is my responsibility?to educate my clients about ?risks and how to minimize them, here are some risk factors for you fitness mama’s as well. You want to be educated fitness mama’s too so you can spread this information to as many other women in your life and perhaps help save a life too! : )
Some risk factors for (CVD) are below:
- elevated total and LDL? ( low density lipoprotein), cholesterol levels
- low HDL ( high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels
- middle age
- family history of premature C.V.D.
- stress and depression
- poor diet
- sedentary lifestyle
- hypertension( high blood pressure)
The more risk factors you have the higher?your risk is for heart attack and stroke.
If you have some of the above risk factors now is the time to re-evaluate your lifestyle. Change needs to be made immediately to improve your health and your quality of life. Below are some way’s that you can make some changes to be healthier and lessen your chances of not only heart disease, but many other diseases brought on by?poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle:
- One of my favorite websites that I refer my clients to in order to educate them about healthy food choices is The MyPyramid website ( www.mypyramid.gov) here you will learn so much information for you and your family. Be aware?of trans fats in foods, and also all the hidden ingredients?such as, HFCS?( high fructose corn syrup). You would be surprised?what foods you can find both of these ingredients?in and also how bad they are for your body. ?Read labels and see what is listed on the food?labels. Remember the longer that ingredients list is the more processed foods there probably is in the product you are eating.
- Eat a healthy diet: Make good choices everyday. Remember this, 80% of the time eat foods that are high volume high fiber foods and 20% of the time you may have something your really crave. This is called the 80/20 rule and is a great way to help you For example,? eat lots of fruits and vegetables, they will fill you?up and?help keep you full. Eat lean proteins such as fish, lean red meats, chicken and lentils as well as low-fat dairy. Do eat heart healthy fats such as avocado’s light olive oil, black olives, wild-salmon and tuna ( in moderation, due to the mercury). Drink lots of water and stay away from soda even diet soda is bad for you.
- Exercise daily: walk 5 day’s a week for 30 min. at 3 mph. if you can’t do that then walk for 20 min. 3 day’s a week at a more intense pace to add more intensity to your walking program. Strength train at least two times a week doing a full body workout. Make time for stretching daily to decrease stress in your life along with deep breathing to decrease your heart rate and induce relaxation.
- Don’t smoke! If you smoke, pick a day to stop and do it! My mother died from smoking and so this is a very important message for me to get out to you fitness mama’s. Especially if you are a mother, you are putting your family and your children at risk with your smoking habit. Get the support you need and quit. Your heart will appreciate it too.
- Depression: if you are depressed eat healthier and exercise. If you commit to an exercise program and learning how to eat better, you will not be so depressed. However, if you remain depressed or perhaps you have just had a baby and may suffer from postpartum?depression seek help from your doctor and don’t wait. Postpartum depression is not anything to mess around with and is very treatable. Get the help you need and talk about how you feel with a friend, your husband and also your doctor.
Please visit this website to learn more about heart ?disease and how you can prevent and protect you and the women in your life too. www.hearttruth.gov
Moves for February: Great to do outside… give them a try you will see results in 2-4 weeks…
Do?12-16 reps, 2-3 times a week, try 1-2 sets