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How is your heart?

February is American Heart Month (and African American History month as well I might add).

As your Holistic Nurse Coach, I am here to support you in increasing your vitality through medicine, movement, and mindfulness so that you can heal and elevate your mind, body, and spirit. You are a woman on a mission so it’s so important to me that you have the tools & resources to nurture yourself so that you can live your soul’s purpose & truly enjoy your life!

According to the NIH (National Institute of Health): “Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.

Heart-healthy living involves understanding your risk, making choices, and taking steps to reduce your chances of getting heart disease, including coronary heart disease, the most common type. Coronary and other types of heart disease cause heart attacks, but by taking preventive measures, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease and also improve your overall health and well-being.”

Before we dive deeper into this discussion, let’s take a couple moments to reflect on WHY you want to prevent heart disease and why you want to improve your cardiac health (especially if you’re already dealing with disease like hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, & diabetes). If you don’t take your health seriously now, it’s almost inevitable you’ll pay for it later.

Here are 6 inspired action items you can initiate today to start improving your one and only heart health.

1. Identify your risks. Here are risk factors for heart disease: • High blood pressure • High blood cholesterol • Overweight or obese • Prediabetes or diabetes • Smoke • Do not get regular physical activity • Have a family history of early heart disease (your father or brother was diagnosed before age 55, or your mother or sister was diagnosed before age 65) • Have a history of preeclampsia (a sudden rise in blood pressure and too much protein in the urine during pregnancy) • Have unhealthy eating behaviors • Are older (age 55 or older for women or age 45 or older for men) After menopause, women are more likely to get heart disease, in part because estrogen hormone levels drop. Women who have gone through early menopause, either naturally or because they have had a hysterectomy, are twice as likely to develop heart disease as women of the same age who have not gone through menopause.

2. Eat heart healthy foods daily. Fruits, vegetables, & whole grains such as quinoa and faro are a great place to start.

3. Cut out trans fat that you’ll find in some desserts, frozen pizza, margarine, and other processed foods.

4. Skip the booze. It can raise your blood pressure, triglycerides, and also increases your chances of making poor decisions if you drink too much. It’s also empty calories & a hormone disrupter.

5. Move your body. At least 150 minutes of moderate exercise is recommended per week, that’s 30 minutes a day- 5x a week.

6. Reduce your stress levels. Uncontrolled prolonged stress really can be a killer. Deep breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness, setting a timer and giving yourself at least 20 minutes of uninterrupted peace are just a few ways to activate your parasympathetic nervous system and reduce stress today.

I would love to hear from you! Which inspired action item will you implement today?

What do you do to take care of your heart health?

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