February is Heart Health Month - involve the kids, and show your heart some love
Seven years ago this month, I was diagnosed as having arterial fibulation. I experienced irregular heartbeats on several occasions before the diagnosis, but didn't really know what was happening. My first thought was, "I'm not even 40 years old."
As I reflect on my irregular heartbeat episodes, I am reminded that February is Heart Health Month. During February people are trying to come up with the perfect gift or gesture to express their love for someone special in their life. This year why not show your heart some love?
According to www.skinnygeneproject.dreamhosters.com:
1. "One in three women will die from heart disease, while one in 31 will die from breast cancer."
2. Anyone can be at risk for heart disease, not just those who are overweight or obese. People with high blood pressure and high triglycerides are also at risk.
3. "Eighty percent of heart disease is preventable by simply living a healthier lifestyle (exercise regularly and eat healthy)".
The American Heart Association says that American Heart Month is "a time to battle cardiovascular disease and educate Americans on what we can do to live heart-healthy lives." An article from the National Health Information Center lists several ways to keep your heart healthy.
Below are some of those ways including websites to visit for more information:
1. Watch your weight.
2. Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
3. Control your cholesterol and blood pressure (www.healthfinder.gov/prevention/ViewTopic.aspx?topicld=11).
4. If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
5. Get active and eat healthy (www.healthfinder.gov/prevention/ViewTopic.aspx?topicld=21).
6. Manage stress.
Include the entire family in Heart Health Month. Kids can help prepare healthy meals and learn about making healthy food choices. Turn it into a game by rewarding kids each time they make a healthy choice. Rewards can be as simple as letting the kids have a movie night and inviting a few friends.
Many schools participate in Jump Rope for Heart. Why not have let the kids have their own jump rope competition at home? Set the kitchen timer and see how many times they can jump in one minute. Join in with them.
No matter what your plans are for the month of February be sure to take time to show your heart some love. You being around is the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones.
Angela Verges is a writer and mother of two. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.