Happy Heart Month!
Well, here we are on February 1st! While I have mixed emotions about turning another year older this month, there’s a special event I DO welcome with open arms: today kicks off American Heart Month. If you’re still looking for a reason to make those healthy 2013 resolutions stick, this is it. There’s simply no time like the present to take stock of how well you’re taking care of your ticker!
It’s no secret heart disease remains a serious problem here in the United States. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
- About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. That’s one in ever four deaths.
- Someone in this country has a heart attack every 34 seconds. Each minute, someone dies from a heart disease-related event.
- Heart disease doesn’t discriminate. It’s the number one cause of death for most ethnicities in the U.S.
- Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease.
While your family history can put you at greater risk, there are lifestyle choices each of us can make to decrease our behavioral risk factors for heart disease. These include obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol and diabetes. Guess what? Along with quitting smoking and following a healthy diet, getting exercise one of the most powerful weapons in the fight against heart disease.
I’m not saying you have to run out to a boot camp class or sign up for a half-marathon during today’s lunch break. The latest guidelines from the American Heart Association indicate we need 30 minutes of brisk activity on five days a week. If that sounds overwhelming, consider this: you can break those 30-minutes down into two 15-minute or three 10-minute sessions.
If you’ve never exercised before, it’s time to get off the couch and get moving! Schedule morning or evening walks around the neighborhood or get a fitness game for the kids’ video console. If you’re thinking of joining a gym, consider signing up with a workout buddy for support. Try group exercise classes (like Zumba®) until you find one you like so you’ll look forward to sweating it out a couple of times a week. Treat yourself to a couple of personal training sessions so you learn to navigate your way safely through a fitness routine. This is your health we’re talking about. If you don’t invest in it, who will?
If you’d like more information about ways to prevent heart disease and events going on for American Heart Month as well as year-round initiatives, here are some websites to check out:
Finally, if you’re still figuring out your wardrobe for the day, throw something red on to support the 10th annual National Wear Red Day®. When it’s over, here’s to the weekend ahead and continuing our year-round plan to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
Posted on February 1, 2013, in Fitness, Health and tagged American Heart Association, American Heart Month, Cardiovascular Activity, Go Red for Women, Heart Disease, Laura DeAngelis, National Wear Red Day, Personal Fitness. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.