February is such an important month in our home. It’s the month when my husband and I got married, it’s the month that houses Valentine’s Day, and it’s Black History Month. There’s so much to celebrate during the second month of the year!
It’s also American Heart Month, and as an African American woman, this is an important time to review my lifestyle to make sure that I’m following easy and affordable ways to be heart healthy.
According to statistics from 2012, Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for African American women. Of African American women age 20 or older, almost 47% have cardiovascular disease. So what can we do? We can make sure that we take care of our bodies and our hearts. I make sure to do this in a few ways:
The easiest way to keep your heart healthy is to move! It doesn’t have to involve a year long gym membership or building a gym in your basement. You just need to get your body going and your blood circulating. I take advantage of free videos on YouTube, like the exercise routines created by Cassey from Blogilates, and I also use resistance bands around my legs while I work around the house and do homeschool lessons. It’s a great way to work out while still taking care of my daily activities.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
I know, I know. If you look at my pictures, you are probably thinking I have no right to talk about weight. Not true. Being overweight and underweight can both take a toll on your heart, and I have to make sure that I’m eating healthy and maintaining the proper weight for my height. I do find that I feel so much better when I am at the recommended weight rather than underweight. I also don’t feel as sluggish and run down. This gets me to eat properly too. Speaking of which…
Add Good Fat To Your Diet
Monounsaturated fats are great for your diet and to keep your heart healthy. I take supplements and have snacks on hand that feature monounsaturated fats, like nuts. Lately I’ve found great snack items right at my CVS. The new Gold Emblem Abound line features delicious walnuts, granola mixes, heart-healthy oatmeal and even raw almonds! I haven’t even seen raw almonds at my local grocery store, so it was great treat to find them at my favorite drug store at a great price. While snacks full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are great to keep your heart healthy, you will want to watch your intake. They can be high in calories, so be sure to place them in small containers or bags and snack wisely.
Do you have any easy and affordable ways to be heart healthy? Do you like eating healthy snacks?
A big thank you to CVS for sending a few of these fantastic items to help me stay heart healthy!