Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national call for women to take charge of their health. The Association especially wants you recognize and reduce your risk for heart disease. Here’s how:
1. Make a date (and keep it). Each year on your birthday, schedule a checkup. Know your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels and ask your doctor to help you reach or maintain a healthy weight. Be sure to follow your healthcare professional’s recommendations, including taking prescribed medications.
2. Tone up as you tune in. Step, march or jog in place for at least 15 minutes a day while you’re watching television. Increase your activity by 5 minutes each week until you’re getting at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Regular physical activity and a healthy diet, however, may not get you all the way to your goal. If they don’t, ask your doctor about adding medication.
3. Grab some H2O when you go. Take a water bottle with you wherever you go. You can get plenty of water and the bottle’s weight will strengthen your arm.
4. Eat right to control cholesterol. Foods high in saturated fat and trans fat can contribute to high cholesterol. Help keep your cholesterol down by eating foods low in saturated fat, such as lean beef, chicken or turkey (roasted or baked, with skin removed), fruits and veggies, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and whole grains. Look for American Heart Association cookbooks in your local bookstore for healthy and delicious recipes.
5. Shake the salt habit. Help lower high blood pressure by watching your salt intake. Often you’ll find it disguised in food labels as sodium alginate, sodium sulfite, sodium caseinate, disodium phosphate, sodium benzoate, sodium hydroxide, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and sodium citrate.
Finally, don’t let a slip keep you down. When you reach a goal, reward yourself by doing something you enjoy.
You can Go Red for Women today by joining this national campaign at GoRedforWomen.orgorg