Caring for Your Heart in Your 20’s and 30’s

Teaming up with WomenHeart: The National Coalition of Women With Heart Disease, has been eye opening. Not only did I learn that heart disease is the number 1 killer of women in this country, but that it can be largely prevented with proper diet and exercise. Oh, and it can also affect anyone, even the YOUNG. By young, I’m talking about those gals in their 20’s and 30’s who still get carded and have yet to combat the menopause doughnut rocking a stay-cation on the waist.

I just turned the big 30 and I’m all about prevention for health both now and later on in life. Why? Because God (or your higher power of choice) only gave us one body. Why would I abuse it so it doesn’t function correctly later? Seems like a no-brainer, but many people do. I think this is largely because we’re young, think we’re invincible and have too many other things on our minds (husband, babies, career path).

WAKE UP! Even though we’re not yet being bombarded with AARP ads on our facebook profile, we need to live for the future! Okay, so here are some steps to be a healthy-heart girl in your Alexander Wang and low-slung William Rasts…

1). Give Up the Cigs: I know it’s difficult, but it can be done. This is a great way to use Count Me Healthy bracelets. Say you’re going the Chantix route and trying to reduce as opposed to cold turkey. Track your cigarettes per day on the bracelet aiming for less each week. If you’re scared of gaining weight, just lower the sugar in your diet and add an extra 10 minutes to whatever exercise you get a day. I say once you get to halving the cigs you used to smoke per day, go to your favorite website and choose an accessory you’ve been really craving, like a grommet Tolani scarf or a chunky cocktail ring.

2) Start Moving: I swear I recently looked down and realized I had started to develop what I call “Corporate Desk Ass,” where your bootie starts to take the shape of a chair–flat and oval. GASP! In this internet-addicted society of ours, nothing is more important that taking 30-60 minutes a day to step away from your Mac and sweat. It’s good for your heart, your brain, and your behind.

3) Watch the Diet: Sugar and high-glycemic carbs taste awesome for a second, but they wreak havoc on your body (both inside and out). I like to think that what I put in my body helps at the cellular level. When I eat things loaded with sugar, they are stretching fat cells so they hold more fat later.

4) Chill Out: In your 20’s you don’t yet know who you are and in your 30’s you’re more comfortable with yourself, but now you are starting to care for families of your own. There is never a point in life where we are entitled to have continuous calmness (lying in a hammock, Corona in hand). We need to make a conscious decision to deflect stress because the consequences are messy aging and weight-gain.

My point is that we are never too young to start thinking of how precious our heart is. Without it we are nothing. I hope your Feb is going fabulous. Stay tuned for more Heart-esque topics soon. As always, keep counting.

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