Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Are you Paying Attention to your Heart Health?

Together we are powerful. Let's unite and get to the heart of good health.

Are you paying attention to your heart health?  February is American Heart Month.  I can't believe the month is almost over.  I've been trying to wear the color red a lot lately.  Since red is my favorite color, it hasn't been that hard to do.  :)

I think many women still don't realize that heart disease is the #1 killer of women.  

I have many friends who've been impacted by breast cancer.  And being a woman I can understand why there's so much publicity to raise awareness for breast cancer.  I applaud those efforts.  But I also think that we can't ignore heart disease.  It's no longer a men's disease.  The risk for women begins to rise from the ages of 40-60. Uh oh, that includes me!

I've been participating in a private Facebook group called At Home with Kim: Weigh-In Wednesdays.  It has become such a wonderful source of recipes, challenges and group encouragement for many of us who are trying to lose a few pounds.

It's interesting to me that most younger women are more concerned with losing weight than with avoiding a disease like heart disease. But if it hasn't impacted you personally, it's easy to think it will never happen.

When I worked as a nurse in a cardiology practice, I conducted a survey of heart patients. I asked them what they were most afraid of.  Was it another heart attack or maybe dying?

The overwhelming response from heart patients was that they were afraid of losing their independence.  

They wanted to continue to do the things they enjoy and not have to become dependent on others.  I get that.  After all, I witnessed many who survived a heart attack and ended up becoming dependent.

So for all of you younger women out there who are simply trying to lose weight.  Listen up!  It's time to start those healthy habits now while you're younger.

Here's a bit of advice:
  • Establish healthy habits for life
  • Be a good example for your children
  • Walk your talk
  • Regular exercise can become a part of family life
  • Eating healthy will benefit the entire family
I think our perspective needs to change.  It's not about simply going on a diet to lose weight.  It's a long term goal of healthy living for life.  That takes time, effort and perseverance.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers helpful resources on their website.  You can access information about heart disease, cholesterol, high blood pressure and stroke.  They also offer heart healthy recipes.

I'm linking up with Kim of At Home with Kim  for Weigh-In Wednesday.


Blessings and love,

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14 comments:

Heidi Rosetti said...

I have changed my whole lifestyle to eating healthy, exercising regularly, and staying fit! I believe it is my responsibility to take care of myself just as much as my kids. I do it to see my great, great grandkids some day!(and the loss of 20 pounds helps too!)You go, Debbie! You can do it!(yes, you can!)

Felisol said...

Dear Debbie,
I so admire your engagement and applaud your commitment.
Even in Norway we realize that each person has a unique responsibility for one's own health and life.
I'm suffering from ME and therefor I cannot take heavy workouts. They will put me to bed immediately. I can However walk, and am blessed with a husband who likes to tag along, even though he's in much better shape than me. We bring cameras with on our walks and that makes it so much more interesting.
To bring my weight down I have a simple trick. I just write in my diary every crunch that comes into my mouth. This way I am always aware of what I'm eating. I have lost almost two kilos this way, but I need to loose at least five more, and stay there.
I have been inspired by reading your blog. Please keep up the good work.

razella.com said...

So True! I often wonder how much of a young woman's desire to simply "lose weight" is because of our culture? I'm only 29, yet it's just been in the last two years that my thoughts have started genuinely shifting from "losing weight" to "overall health and wellness". For me, my wake up came because I had my cholesterol checked at a health fair and it was HIGH. I can understand why it's hard to see the bigger picture until a piece of that picture affects you directly. I'm trying to include my son NOW in making healthier choices and the reasons WHY we are making those healthier choices so that hopefully he will carry the knowledge with him into his teen and early adult years.
Really enjoyed your post and getting to know you through the WIW link up group! :)

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Adding exercise is the hardest for me. Just never found an activity that I could really stick with.

Liane Radford said...

Debbie - you are so right, it is about a goal of living a heathly life. Weightloss is just a part of it. Another part of it for me is eating less ready-made foods and eating more whole foods. And MOVING on a regular basis. Awesome post!

Laurie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laurie said...

I really needed this today, Debbie. I have not been walking as I used to and eating the wrong things in between meals. I am encouraged by your words and I am going to check out Weigh-in Wed.@ At Home With Kim. With the warmer weather coming it will be easier to walk and change my bad habits, with God's help!

Susan Stilwell said...

Wow, Debbie, this hits home. One of the girls in my neighborhood Bible study (51 yrs old) had a massive heart attack in December. Hers was a classic case -- had symptoms that she ignored/explained. The crazy thing? Her husband is a cardiologist.

It's serious and can happen to ANY of us. We have to take care of ourselves and listen to our bodies!
Thanks for sharing, Debbie!

hk said...

I too, need that reminder of what I am eating is not only affecting me, but my family.Actually, I have been blessed with pretty good health and often it is easy to take it for granted. I know this has always been important to you, and I thank-you that you never give up getting the message out. It does ring true. Just want to add that I know that you are concerned about our physical healthy hearts, and our spiritual healthy hearts. Thanks Debbie, You bless my life in so many ways. I miss hanging out with you, but look forward to those times when we can get together. Love you.
PS i'm on my way over to "Kim's."

Sassy Granny ... said...

Oh man ... I had to read this on a day I struggled to zip my jeans (ate waaaaaayyyyyy too much while in AZ). Truth is, I've allowed far too many bad habits to form in recent months, mostly due to freezing/wet temps & long, dark days. And why is it, anyway, that pumpkin pie tastes so much better than cauliflower?!! (Don't answer that).

Hugs,
Kathleen

Maria Dunn said...

Good reminder. Thx. God bless, Maria

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

Debbie - Another fine post and a good reminder to those of us of a "certain age" to be aware of our eating habits, our exercise habits and anything that we can do to lessen our chances of a heart attack or developing heart disease.

Thank you!

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