Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Heart of the Matter

Happy February! I love the beginning of every month and every year because it feels so fresh. This month is many things: Black History Month, Heart Health Month, the month of Valentine's and mushy gushy things, and this year, it's a leap year! 29 days to recognize some really great things. 

I've known a handful of people who have had heart attacks. Some have thankfully survived them, and some have not. My dad's best friend, who in turn, was one of my favorite people in the world, passed away in 1996 due to complications from a heart attack. It was the first funeral I remember and one of the saddest, if you could even put them on a scale. And more recently, as in within the past couple of weeks, someone close to me had a heart attack and will undergo surgery next week. 

So, as people who are young and able to change the course of their future pretty easily, I think it's time to change. (Yes we can!) I received a nifty calendar from SparkPeople (thanks to Ash for that website recommendation) of 29 days to improving your heart health. I've always known cardio exercise was important and I've gotten my fill through running. But now, I'm placing a greater emphasis on it. No longer do I run only to lose weight, but to strengthen my heart. After all, "The heart is a muscle. So treat it like one." 

With this, I vow to make some changes in my life: 
1. Cook meals on the stove, not the microwave. I tend to eat Lean Cuisines because they are fast and easy, but chock-full of sodium and micro-waves. 
2. Decrease my intake of red meat, eggs, fried foods and foods with high cholesterol. Be mindful of cholesterol in general. 
3. Exercise. I'm running for a plethora of reasons and now I have more motivation to get to the trail, track or treadmill. 
4. Sleep. I am in dire need of a bedtime. 
5. Be mindful of actions. Mostly because I couldn't end the list at four. Oh I know, decrease the alcohol intake. There. 

A heart attack is just that. An attack. An ambush. No one expects that they will have one; it most certainly comes as a surprise. And what do you do when you know you may eventually be under attack? You prepare. You draw your armor out. You round up your defenses and fight your hardest. 

So be healthy for your heart, yourself, your family and your friends. They all want you alive and well for as long as humanly possible. We're given one body that's meant to last decades - take care of it. And again, happy February. <3

1 comment:

Whatcha thinkin'?