Worried about heart disease and ways to lower your cholesterol? We share with you some ways to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke with help from the American Heart Association.
See that smile on my face? It wasn’t always there. As a matter of fact, less than a year ago after a routine visit to my doctor, I was told that my cholesterol level was high and that I was pre-diabetic. Coming from a family with a history of hypertension and diabetes, I knew that I had to make some lifestyle changes. I knew that in order for me to be healthy that there were things that I needed to do for myself, and for my family. I am a mother, a wife, a sister, cousin, friend and so much more. This is something I needed to do and I decided to make changes. The stats don’t lie! Each year, 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke and I was determined not to be a statistic. Together we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented. The American Heart Association in collaboration with Macy’s, Go Red for Women campaign is a national movement to end heart disease (and stroke) in women.
Before I go into what the campaign entails, I want to share with you five (5) ways you can reduce your risk of heart disease.
1. Make a lifestyle change. This is by far one of the biggest change you can make. For example, if you smoke, make an active decision to quit. Join a support group, do whatever you have to do in order to quit. Also limit your alcohol intake
2. Reduce your stress. Stress can increase your risk of heart disease. Meditate a few minutes every day to reduce your anxiety. Be present in the moment and take the time to breathe. One exercise that my therapist taught me was to close my eyes and repeat positive sayings to myself such as: “I’m wonderful”, “I’m loved” and “I am Amazing”. You’ll be surprised at how much words of affirmations can reduce your stress levels.
3. Exercise. It helps to be physically active and this is something that you can do daily. A simple brisk walk around the neighborhood can do wonders for your body. Take the dog for a walk if you have one, or just walk by yourself. If you have access to a gym, this would be a good time to work out at least 30 minutes a day and gradually increase it.
4. Eat healthier. We are what we eat, and eating a healthier diet is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of heart disease. Eating healthier can also help with your weight together with exercise. Eating healthier not only enables you to function daily, but can also help to prevent diseases.
5. Manage your cholesterol level. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL (bad) and HLL (good). Too much of one or not enough of another can put you at risk for coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke. The American Heart Association recommends all adults age 20 or older have their cholesterol, and other traditional risk factors, checked every four to six years. While tips 1- 4 above are important steps in improving your cholesterol, some people may actually need cholesterol lowering medication to reduce their risk.
Go Red For Women has an engaging new initiative to keep healthy living interesting and fresh, and Macy’s is joining the cause to cheer participants on and keep them motivated with exciting prizes, like the chance to win a $1,000, $500, or $250 Macy’s gift card! The #GoRedGetFit is a quarterly health and fitness challenge that combines nationally-known and influential celebrity fitness trainers with the power, influence and encouragement of real women like YOU!
Friends that do fitness challenges together, stay healthy together! A barrier to being fit and healthy is simply not having the guidance and support. Rally your online squad! Through Go Red For Women’s #GoRedGetFit online fitness challenge (Facebook group), women have free access to two nationally renowned celebrity fitness trainers: Scott Parker and Lisa Morales to help members to be fit and healthy for life.
So fresh and so clean! Using the American Heart Association’s recommendations for physical activity and diet and lifestyle, the trainers and online community support participants as they go through quarterly challenges for improved health.
Practice makes per-fit! Each challenge lasts approximately 12-weeks, in an effort to turn a behavior into a habit.
The #GoRedGetFit quarter one challenge, designed for optimal results, is:
“Pep Your Step for Good”
1. Take 10,000 steps a day. (About AHA physical activity recommendations.)
2. Know your numbers; get your cholesterol checked and talk to your doctor about your numbers.
It didn’t happen, if you didn’t post it! Participants share and post messages, photos and videos of successes, encouragement and struggles within the group and some are randomly chosen to win prizes from Go Red For Women and Macy’s with a grand prize to the 2018 Red Dress Collection in New York City in February.
For more information, visit GoRedForWomen.org.