HEALTH & WELLNESS: GO RED!
WILES GOES RED!
By Denae Preston
Ladies: it’s time to Go Red!
As women, we are always constantly juggling careers, family life and so many other things that, at the end of the day we end up having very little, if any, time to take care of ourselves. Since most of us can not afford to get sick, because let’s admit, the family would be lost without you, we occasionally take a few vitamins in the morning and go about our day. But, as you will soon see, supplements can no longer be your substitute for a healthy lifestyle!
Now is the time to go above and beyond for your health. Regardless of your age or the (bad) habits you may have formed, it’s never too late to start taking care of your body and its most import organ: the heart.
“Go Red” is the American Heart Association’s month-long call to action for women all around the world to come together to raise awareness and share heart-healthy tips to fight the #1 killer of women: heart disease.
Living “heart smart” is easier than you may think. Here are just a few ways that you and the women in your life can be on the path to becoming a healthier and happier you:
Exercise regularly. Yes, we all knew that one was coming. But not only is it important to exercise for at LEAST forty minutes three times a week. While exercising, you should monitor your heart rate to make sure your heart is reaching the appropriate speeds for an effective cardio workout. An easy way to determine your target heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. You can enter the cardio fat burning zone by achieving just 60% of your maximum heart rate simply by lightly walking or pedaling on a stationary bike. For more information about maximum heart rate monitoring, please visit fitday.com.
Choose Birth Control Carefully. Oral contraceptives can often cause an increase in your blood pressure, which can lead to clots, speeding heart rates and dizzy spells. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of different birth controls and explore your options based on your personal health needs.
Monitor Body Changes. Stay aware of changes in your body such as small aches, pains, and understand how menopause can impact your health.
Avoid Smoking. Smoking negatively impacts your lungs and hardens your arteries which forces your heart to pump harder to keep the blood flowing through you body.
As if the pressure and strain on your heart caused by smoking wasn’t bad enough, but the chemicals you allow to enter your body through smoking basically fries up valuable healthy cells and replaces them with cancerous ones. Experts estimate that smoking can cut anywhere from seven to thirteen years off a smoker’s life, and three to five years off the lives of those who inhale second-hand smoke.
And most of all Stress LESS! Beyond exercising and getting adequate sleep each night, taking time out of each day to simply sit alone in a quiet place and relax will do wonders for both your physical and mental health.
I confess. I logged on to the American Heart Association page, made my pledge and took the “Healthy Heart Score Test.” The test basically asked simple questions that I should know the answers to such as blood pressure, sugar levels, and cholesterol. Unfortunately, I only scored 4 out of a possible 10, with 10 being the highest. Yikes!
What’s the moral of the story? It’s simple: What you don’t know is often more hurtful than helpful. Whether grand and immediate or small and step by step, it’s time for me to make a change. What about you?
REMEMBER: Your health is more important than anything else.
NOTE: As a proud partner of the American Heart Association, Wiles will be raising awareness and funds throughout the month of February as part of the AHA’s Go Red For Women – American Heart Associationcampaign. To join us in the effort, please visit:http://honor.americanheart.org/site/TR?px=3799903&fr_id=2320&pg=personal.
You can also email photos of you “Going Red” to us at email@example.com for a chance to be published in our February issue!