Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Happy American Heart Month!

It's February, and it's American Heart Month. I know many readers know a lot about my family (this IS a family page after all), but I'm not sure I've opened up much about my Dad. What better time than this month for two reasons. First, my Dad passed away in February 15 years ago. Yes, there are still days it feels like yesterday. He died of a massive heart attack. We have a pretty strong family history, but he also did not take care of his heart. He was a smoker, he didn't exercise much, and he was a full-on meat and potatoes lover. So second, with it being American Heart Month, this seems like a perfect time to not only remember him and how awesome he was, but also work to help all of my friends and family live a healthier life.

Sometimes I wonder how I really got so into health and fitness. It wasn't as some would think. It wasn't a conscious decision of "my Dad died of a possibly preventable disease so I'm going to dedicate my life to preventing these diseases." I can't help but wonder, though, if there is something unconsciously going on, motivating me daily to get up and do what I do.

With that all being said, maybe it IS time to connect the dots and help people really understand what taking of yourself can do for your future (and what NOT taking care of yourself can do too).

So, my friends, I have to ask: Do you know your risk for heart disease? According to the American Heart Association, some KEY risk factors include:

  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Weight/body mass index
  • Waist circumference
  • Blood glucose
  • Family history

Do you know your numbers? If not, it's time to schedule a well-check with your primary care doctor and evaluate your risk. Want to know more about evaluating your risk? Check out the American Heart Associations webpage HERE.

Of course, once you know your risk, it's time to take action. That means putting into daily practice those behaviors that keep your heart and whole body healthy: eat smart and make good food choices, be colorful and eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies, move more and get the heart pumping, and be well by reducing stress and taking care of your overall well-being.

In this month filled with LOVE, I just want you all to know that I care about you and want you to have a long, full life. Take care my friends, and know that I am always here to help!

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