We got 2010 off to a great start in January, with our biggest and best response yet to our Monthly Challenge. Let's keep the momentum going in February with a topic that applies to each and every one of us. The heart of a mother is always open and sharing love, but heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of women in America. In honor of National Heart Month, let's work on improving our heart health one step at a time.
The changes can be simple: Research shows that women can lower their heart disease risk enormously—by as much as 82 percent—simply by leading a healthy lifestyle, according to the Healthy Heart Handbook
from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Here are some of their suggestions, which are in line with our BabyFit recommendations for healthy moms:
- Emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
- Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
- Choose foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and sodium, and added sugars.
- Balance the calories you take in with the calories you need.
- Choose low-sodium, reduced-sodium, or no-salt-added versions of foods and condiments, when available.
- Choose fresh, frozen, or canned (low-sodium or no-salt-added) vegetables.
- Use fresh poultry, fish, and lean meat, rather than canned, smoked, or processed types.
- Choose ready-to-eat breakfast cereals that are lower in sodium.
- Limit your caffeine intake.
- Use stairs—both up and down—instead of elevators. Start with one flight of stairs and gradually build up to more.
- Park a few blocks from the office or store and walk the rest of the way. If you take public transportation, get off a stop or two early and walk a few blocks.
- Instead of eating that rich dessert or extra snack, take a brisk stroll around the neighborhood.
- Do housework or yard work at a more vigorous pace.
- When you travel, walk around the airport, train, bus, or subway station rather than sitting and waiting.
Need more ideas? Use these BabyFit resources to get started: Eating for a Healthy Heart The Heart of a Women Exercise: Do It For Yourself 28 Days to a Healthier Heart Have a Heart to Heart about Family Health Breastfeeding Heart Healthy for Mom Loving Your Heart Create a plan get started.
Share your goal and action plan with the BabyFit Monthly Challenge Team by midnight EST on Saturday, February 28, 2010. Accountability and support are the keys to making a lasting change, and the BabyFit team.
To reward you for your hard work, we'll be giving away fitness DVDs and BabyFit gear. Post your goals in the BabyFit Monthly Challenge MommyTeam in the Healthy Heart Challenge post. Review the official rules here.
Remember that even small changes will lower your risk of heart disease and improve your quality of life. Together let’s beat the odds and take steps toward a healthy life now.
NOTE: This general information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your health care provider before starting any nutrition or fitness program, and to discuss any concerns or questions.
Edited by: SAMANTHABABYFIT at: 2/1/2010 (16:51)