Heart disease is not a man’s disease! 1 in 4 women dies as a result of heart disease. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States. When I read things like this, it definitely grabs my attention. Did it grab yours?
For all of you women that love a good challenge like me, guess what? There is quite a bit that we can do to kick heart diseases a$%! In fact, I recently read that we can potentially reduce our heart disease risk by a whopping 82% by simply leading a healthy lifestyle. I don’t know about you, but I like those odds. If there is anything I can do to prolong my stay here on this earth, I’m in. What about you?
I know some people cringe at the thought of a healthy lifestyle because it evokes images of a life void of fun, but that really isn’t true. Think of a healthy lifestyle as maintenance. Maintenance is a necessity in many aspects of our lives. If we don’t maintain our vehicles, what happens? They fall apart. If we don’t maintain our homes, what happens? They fall apart. If we don’t maintain our teeth, what happens? They fall apart (unless you are one of the lucky ones with perfect teeth no matter what). Why should we expect our heart to operate at 110% if we are not concerned with heart maintenance? A little maintenance can go a long way.
I know, when it comes to our bodies, we all tend to take so much for granted. Notice I said WE! For years I was the queen of taking my health for granted, although I was hyperaware of the fact that if my health failed, I failed. I blame the disconnect on a youthful sense of invincibility. And then my knees started hurting, it became a little tougher for me to roll out of bed in the morning, and gray hairs started sprouting up all over my head. It was only at that point that I realized my health maintenance records were an utter and complete mess. Can anyone else relate?
For all of you young folks that think this article doesn’t apply to you I will tell you like I tell my kids, body maintenance should never be taken for granted. The earlier you start taking care of yourself, the longer things will last.
Here are a few simple things we can all do to win the war against the #1 killer of women:
- Don’t smoke. Okay. Well, maybe this one is not so simple. But here is some incentive…studies have shown that heart disease will drop by more than one half one year after you quit smoking.
- Exercise. I am not talking about a full-on Tae-Bo session. Wait…Does anyone do Tae-Bo anymore? We are talking only 150 minutes a week, 21 minutes a day of walking, biking, jumping rope, etc.. I am willing to bet once you start being more physically active, you will want to exercise longer than 21 minutes a day.
- Incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and heart-healthy foods into your diet. Yes, instead of waiting in the drive-thru for that wonderfully delicious Bojangles combo, pack a lunch that honors and respects your heart. There are so many wonderful healthy recipes available to us today. Take advantage of google and join in the meal planning craze that is sweeping the nation.
- Limit your cocktail intake. I am a sucker for a good cocktail or two. And sometimes, I indulge. When I started paying more attention to my body, I could not avoid the simple truth. My body feels like sh!% when I overindulge. I am not talking about hangover sh!++y. I am talking about “whatever you put in your body is definitely not something that likes your body too much” sh!++y. So, is it really worth it to consume too much? Think about it. Feel sh!++y, and get one step closer to killing your heart. Nah. I’ll pass.
So, what are you going to do? Maintenance, or take a chance on being the 1 in 4 killed by heart disease. Let’s join together and fight against heart disease.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.