Join the Fight Against Heart Disease

Hope you all were able to sport some red today in honor of women’s fight against heart disease! Unfortunately I apparently have very little in the red color scheme in my closet at the moment…luckily I haven’t gotten rid of my red Vera Bradley purse J
Women are just as at risk for heart attacks as men are; however, women are at greater risk for congestive heart failure and high blood pressure.

It seems like us women put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be the weekend warrior, wonder woman; we want to do it all. Women carry on full-time executive jobs while also taking care of the kids, attend PTO meetings, cooking dinner (or at least making dinner reservations) – women take one more responsibility than they did 30 years ago. This leads to increased stress, poor diet choices, and little time for physical activity. Let’s be real ladies, and this is coming from an over-achieving control freak: we have to face that we’re not wonder woman – we equally human and we need to give ourselves a break from the hectic competition we put ourselves through.

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has made the “Healthy Heart Handbook for Women” available online for FREE:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/other/hhw/index.htm
So ladies, and men looking to help take care of their ladies, read up and take care of your heart!

Here are a few quick tips From Dr. Oz (Via Ladies’ Home Journal) to help calm that heart down:

  1. Put yourself first – I am at fault for not doing this. Stop putting others before you, as selfish as that may sound. When we put everyone before us, we allow minimal, to no time to take care of our own personal health – thus lowering our self-esteem. When we do not feel good about ourselves, many of us will fall into the trap of depression, or exhaustion…which typically leads to poor dieting – such as binging on artery clogging comfort food to make us feel better. Bad choice.
  2. Spend as little as 10-15 minutes each day using stress reduction techniques. Different methods work for different people. This can be as simple as sitting at your desk while at work with some headphones on, closing your eyes, and taking a few long deep breaths. Yoga and pilates are incredible forms of relaxation. These practices allow you to use deep breathing techniques while easing your body into different stretches which will allow you to release tension.
  3. My favorite: change up your diet! Keep away from the refined carbohydrates (white bread, sugar, white rice, white pasta), and foods that are high in saturated fats…especially fried foods. If a food item states anything relating to “fried” or “tempura,” it is not worth your health for the taste. Check out yesterday’s post for some heart healthy food items to add to your diet, while also taking everyone’s favorite supplement: fish-oil! But be sure to get the bottles saying “no fishy burps” – otherwise, do not be surprised if people try to refrain from having close conversations with you! Be sure to drink lots of water, increase your intake on non-starchy vegetables, and pile on those antioxidants.
  4. Wham BAM! Studies have shown that getting a little frisky with your spouse can decrease your risk for coronary heart disease. See you can have fun while protecting your heart! If you are swinging solo, this does not mean to go romp around – you can get the same/similar benefits from daily cardio exercise (at least 20 minutes at a moderate-vigorous intensity)

 

In the most simple terms: cut down on the saturated fat and sodium, reduce the stress, and increase that euphoric physical activity!
What’s up for tonight?? Well since Mat and I are slightly under the weather, I pan to make a heart healthy tomato soup…however, when I am sick, I tend to add in a few ingredients that might throw off the flavor because I care more about kicking the cold in the butt rather than having it taste super yummy. I do try to balance the two, but it doesn’t seem to always work out that way..so we will have to see what happens! 😉

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