Ahhh… My Racing Heart | Health Eagle

Ahhh… My Racing Heart

by Lori Sciame February 2nd, 2024 | Health Observance
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During February, the American Heart Association (AHA) has a series of promotions aimed at both men and women concerning optimum heart health. As I write this post, it is their Go Red for Women Day celebration. On this first Friday in February, men and women are asked to wear the color red to symbolize the toll that heart disease takes on American women.

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States today? Because of this, the AHA hopes to educate the public about the importance of a healthy heart on this important day.

Although this article will be published after the event, there are still plenty of things a woman can do to commemorate American Heart Month. Learning how to eat right, including reducing sodium intake, and beginning to exercise regularly are two things to begin doing. As the AHA states, exercising dramatically improves heart health. For example, for every hour spent walking, they explain that a woman can increase her life expectancy by two hours. Not a bad return on investment, as prevention is the best medicine!

It’s relatively easy to include additional walking in a busy day. If a woman works in a building with stairs, she can choose to walk the stairs during her break or at lunch time, or if a woman works in an area of the country where it is still warm enough to go outside, a quick 15 minute walk around the neighborhood will work wonders as well.

Another idea is to find out whether a business has a workout room. I recently found out that the college where I work allows staff to used the workout room available to the students. As a student advisor, this option has worked out great. I can interact with the student body while fitting in 20 minutes on the treadmill. If a business doesn’t have a workout room on site, maybe they have a deal with a local gym for reduced membership rates. Contact the human resources department or wellness committee to find out.

Fitting in walking after work may also be an option, especially if you find a friend to do it with. Not only can friendships be enhanced by doing this, the heart will be better taken care of. Places to walk together: local parks, school tracks, malls, and large stores.

For more information on how physical activity can help the heart, and ideas for getting active, check out the AHA website. It has plenty of tips for success. (I have used this site for many years, and it always has useful articles).

In honor of American Heart Month, I’d like to encourage you to make your heart race (and not only on Valentine’s Day). By starting to walk more, a woman can lose weight, improve her mood, strengthen her muscles, and actually lengthen her life.  Who doesn’t want to live a longer, healthier life? Walking for prevention of heart disease is a great way to do this!

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.