We are approaching the end heart month, and being a runner it is no secret that getting this organ pumping through my workouts is one of my favorite things to do. But it goes beyond the fitness endeavors and is trumped by nutrition and what is put into our bodies. But WHY? Let’s get to the heart of it…
February is National Heart Month… not just for valentines but for the health awareness of one of our most vital organs. Being the daughter of a cardiologist, someone with less than desirable family health history and a registered dietitian with a passion for changing health across the lifespan (one plant at a time!), this month is EXTRA special to me. But it should be to you too…
Some not so fun facts: One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. About 659,000 people in the United States die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Heart disease is also the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 299,578 women in 2017—or about 1 in every 5 female deaths. The scarier fact is it doesn’t wait to just happen in our later years of life, it starts in our youth! About 7% of our kids, form age 6 to 19 have high cholesterol – a number that could be much higher d/t lack of testing with minimal symptoms in kids. In 2019 about 19.7% of our kids ages 2 to 19 were classified as obese. The concern is not about appearance like the media would like us to focus on. It is about the health and longevity of our children, ourselves and our communities.
Scary stuff right, but that doesn’t have to mean you are doomed. But…THERE IS HOPE! Making changes today can positively effect your tomorrow. But you have to start. I am so thankful that I get to be on the journey with so many incredible people as they change their day to day choices, adopt a more whole food plant based lifestyle and get to movin’! I often hear from my older clients that they want to age well (reverse disease that has started) to be able to enjoy their family and especially their grandchildren and live not only a long life but a vibrant life as they age. They almost always say, “I wish I would have started sooner.”
I cannot encourage you enough, start preventing (OR reversing) now. This doesn’t mean eating “perfectly” but it does require eating and living with intention. And it doesn’t have to be a total 180 over night, but it is important to take time to recognize where we could do better. If we don’t challenge ourselves to do better, in all areas of life for that matter, and just sit back complacently as our years drift away… then what is the point? I just don’t want to have more days with my family, I want more days that I am THRIVING with my family.
My motherhood & postpartum journey thus far has taught me to be present with where I am at and to not be afraid to set goals. I truly feel like I am in the best shape of my life, celebrating these days with my son to the absolute fullest! Don’t limit your health by your fears and insecurities. You are worth so much more & your purpose is SO much greater! Wishing you and your family STRONG BEATING HEARTS!