Happy Valentine’s Day Loves!

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Will you be my Valentine?

I hope so.

I am enjoying a day off from classes (school-wide assessment day but no assessment for me!)  and will be celebrating my friend Rachel’s birthday/valentine’s day with friends tonight!  I don’t think I could ask for a better day.  Unless you bring me chocolates 🙂

What better way to spread the love then promoting National Heart Month today.

Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the US?

It’s not just for old overweight men either…one in four women will die of heart disease.  Look around you between your friends and family.  Who will be the one in four?

Here are the risk factors in women for heart disease:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Being physically inactive
  • Having a family history of early heart disease
  • Age (55 or older for women)

Did you notice a trend?  5 of the 8 risk factors can be helped/prevented by a healthy diet and exercise.  Smoking is an obvious no-no, just don’t.  And unfortunately two are out of our direct control which means we owe it to ourselves to prevent the other risks.

What could be a better gift to a loved one then being there for them, without heart disease, and living a healthy life?!

1. Eat a healthy diet. 

Fresh vegetables, whole grains, fruits, lean protein, healthy fats.  Minimal processing, limited alcohol, avoid fried foods and ingredients you can’t pronounce.  I know it can sound so easy but be so hard.  You can get more information at ChooseMyPlate.gov.  If you have hypertension or are pre-hypertension, you may want to follow the DASH diet, which is a low sodium diet.

2. Move Your Body Girl.

The current recommendations for adults (18-64) is 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equal combo of the two. Full body strength training should be done 2 or more days a week.

If you’re not exercising, you’re not doing yourself any favors.  Walk, dance, run, swim, bike, play tennis, lift weights … find something you enjoy and do it.

3. Get your weight in a healthy range. 

You don’t need to be a size 2, 4, etc but carrying extra unhealthy weight does affect your health.  If you are overweight, don’t reach for a fad quick-trim diet.  Aim to lose no more than 2 lbs a week.  Take small steps that you can maintain for the long-term.  It is not a diet.  It is a healthy lifestyle.

4. Feel the love

This may not be in any official pages for Heart Health month but I think an equal part of a healthy lifestyle is loving yourself, being compassionate, and having overall content with your life. Surround yourself with positive people and experiences to truly keep your heart happy.

You can find out more information at The Heart Truth or CDC website.

 

Love cures people – both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.
Dr.Karl Menninger

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day?!

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