February is American Heart Month. Many of you may not know this but I had a double bypass surgery in 1993. In 1984 I was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease. At that time there was no treatment for the disease and because it is so rare it was not easily diagnosable. I have to say that I really don't have many memories of the summer of 1984 that I spent on death's door but I can say that the most vivid memory is that my Mom never left my side. Without her love an support as well as prayers I am sure that I would have never survived the illness.
As a result of Kawasaki disease I suffered with multiple acquired aneurysms on my mammary arteries. I eventually had open heart surgery in December 1993 because one of the aneurysms became filled with calcium deposits and was causing reduced blood flow. I have always taken heart health extremely seriously. I have visited more cardiologists at age 39 than the average 75 year old. I am thankful that I survived Kawasaki Disease and the side effects and because I did I like to spread heart health awareness. However I have always lived life to its fullest traveling abroad, scuba diving and para-sailing!
American Heart Month is a time for me to educate others on what we can do to live heart healthy lives. Heart Disease and Stroke is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States.
You are at higher risk for heart disease if you are:
- A woman age 55 or older
- A man age 45 or older
- Have a family history or early heart disease
- Use of tobacco or live with a family member that uses tobacco
Tips to Keep Your Heart Healthy:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Eat a healthy diet
- Manage Stress
- Do not smoke and avoid second hand smoke
A helpful tip is to schedule your workouts. If they get written down on your calendar and become a part of your routine I find that you are more likely to follow through. I used a magnetic calendar on my fridge and scheduled my workouts for the month right beside my menu plan. It is most realistic for me to work out first thing in the morning. By getting dressed into my work out clothes I am more likely to work out than if I stay in my PJ’s or put on jeans. Now after I take Peyton to school I come home and immediately work out. Another tip is consider adding green smoothies to your diet. It is a great way to increase your fruit and veggie intake and not skip breakfast.
Heart Health Posts:
What is Kawasaki Disease?
Surviving My 2nd Open Heart Surgery
February is American Heart Month
It is OK to say NO (thank you)
Ways to Save on Healthy Foods
How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
How to shop at Whole Foods without spending your Whole Paycheck
How to make green smoothies
Four Yoga Poses to Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Paleo Diet and Cross Fit
Heart Healthy Weekly Menu Plans:
February Heart Healthy Menu Plan - Week 1
February Heart Healthy Menu Plan - Week 2
February Heart Healthy Menu Plan - Week 3
February Heart Healthy Menu Plan - Week 4
Source: National Health Information Center
Disclaimer: I am not providing health advise. Always consult with your physician.