by Kelsey Fields
February. The month of celebrating love.Where greeting card companies make out like bandits, and your beautiful flowers (that cost your husband $75) die in a week.
Single? By far one of the most depressing months of the year. Kids? Expect to spend five hours of your life decorating an insanely elaborate Valentine’s Box. So instead of wasting your time with a post about couple’s workouts, how to yoga your body into the shape of a heart, or top ten ways to meet your future husband at the gym, I figured we would take a bit to get serious.
February is, more importantly, American Heart Month. Most of us are young mothers and heart disease isn’t on our radar. Not to scare anyone, but it should be.
Studies show that heart disease is the #1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. If you do the math, it’s approximately one death per minute.
Growing up, I often heard about the famous “Payne Family Curse.” According to my dad, men in the Payne family never made it to their 55th birthday due to heart attacks and heart disease. Knowing I had a genetic disposition for this, I armed myself with knowledge on how to prevent myself from falling victim to this terrible disease.
Now that I’ve been Debbie Downer, there is some good news! Heart disease is often times preventable! My dad and his brother are proof that it’s possible to break the curse! Want to break the curse? All you have to do is make healthy choices!
- Pass the salt (and keep passing it until it’s far away from your plate). Salt is a leading risk factor for high blood pressure, which can cause heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Try different seasonings and spices instead. Swap salt for finely chopped onion or garlic powder instead.
- EXERCISE! It’s no secret this is my favorite way to combat heart disease. Put on your favorite workout leggings (you know, the black ones from Target that have the mesh panels that magically make you run a mile in record time? Yeah those.) and handle it. 30-60 minutes a day is enough to lower blood sugar and blood pressure while boosting good cholesterol.
- LOSE THE LAST 20 LBS LEFT OVER AFTER HAVING BABY MICK. I mean…if you are twenty pounds or more overweight, it’s time to consider finally getting off those extra pounds. As your body mass index (BMI) increases, so does your risk for heart disease and stroke. Since January I have been working incredibly hard to lose the remaining baby weight I am carrying. I want to be there for my children in the future, and knowing my family history, staying a healthy weight is the first piece of the puzzle.
Interested in learning more? Go Red for Women has some great information and additional resources to keep you educated and aware. Don’t let your first sign of heart disease be your last. Knowledge is power, and by making the right choices you drastically increase the odds of surviving and avoiding heart disease.
Their mission is to celebrate health and wellness, outdoor adventures and wildlife conservation in the beauty of the Ozarks. Programs are designed to include activities for people of all ages, backgrounds, fitness levels and areas of interest. CLICK HERE for more information or give them a call at 417.873.5214.
Kelsey is a stay-at-home mom and just recently completed her degree in elementary education. She is a Beachbody certified Insanity instructor, avid runner and yoga enthusiast.
When she is not working out, you will find her cheering on the Denver Broncos, substitute teaching and spending time with her family. She is wife to Blake and mom to busy 2 year-old son Max and soon to be one-year-old, Mick.