Yes, we all know that exercise and healthy eating will help us look good on the outside. But have you thought about what is happening on the INSIDE? Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women and it can strike at any age. The awesome news? Making healthy lifestyle changes can help prevent it! Here is a quick recap of what you need to know:
· Know your numbers- Cholesterol and Blood Pressure. Your Cholesterol ideal number is less than 200, borderline high is 200-239 and high is over 240. Blood pressure in healthy range is below 120/80, pre-hypertension is 120-139/80-89, hypertension is 140/90 or higher.
· Get active! Physical inactivity is a contributing factor to heart disease. All adults ages 18-65 should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous- intensity exercise per week or a combination of both.
· Being obese or overweight increases your risk of heart disease. Make healthy changes to your diet- eat lots of vegetables and fruit, whole grains and lean meats. Cut out processed and high fat foods.
· Manage your stress level. I’m sure that we can all attest that motherhood rates high on the stress factor scale- but do what you can to limit stress. Find techniques to help you manage your stress- exercise, yoga, meditation, even just a brief walk outdoors can do wonders.
· Smoking and having type 2 diabetes increased your risk.
· Know the warning signs of a heart attack: chest discomfort, discomfort in the upper body, shortness of breath, cold sweat, nausea and lightheadedness.
This month in honor of Heart Health we will be sharing some Heart Healthy Valentine’s Day tips on our Facebook page and Twitter. The American Heart Association has a wealth of information on this topic if you would like to do more reading- you can even take a quiz to assess your risk. Check out https://www.goredforwomen.org/ for more info. I know hard it can be to get out the door in all of this snow, but next time you start thinking of excuses not to workout, think about your HEART!