February was American Heart Month and as it comes to a close it serves as a great reminder for us all (Fit Mamas included!) to check in with your heart.
Heart disease is currently the #1 killer of women. It causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year and can easily go undetected. 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease which means it can affect just about anyone. Even seemingly fit, healthy women.
Healthy choices can lower your risk of heart disease and include eating healthy, knowing your family history, getting blood pressure under control and my personal favorite, staying active.
Staying active doesn’t have to mean working out at the gym like a fiend 7 days a week. Exercising just 30 minutes a day helps improve cholesterol levels, prevents and manages high blood pressure, boosts your energy level, helps manage stress and reduces risk of stroke by 20 percent.
The American Heart Association recommends the following to keep your ticker healthy:
For Overall Cardiovascular Health:
At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 OR
At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity AND
Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.
For Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol:
An average 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week
Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember. If it’s hard to find 30 minutes (like for a lot of us moms!) you will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day. Doing something is absolutely better than doing nothing.
If you are just starting out check out your local library or community center for beginner level fitness programs, find a partner to take the journey with and motivate you or just get outside and walk for 10 minutes, increasing the time each day. Keeping active doesn’t have to be difficult or intimidating….it can even be fun!
Get out there and love yourself and your heart by being active! And while we are on the subject….swing by the pharmacy the next time you’re at the store for a quick BP check-in. Your heart will thank you!
For more information about Heart Month & Heart Health visit:
What did you do for your heart health this month? Comment and share!