Tomorrow is “Wear Red” day. As in the national “Go Red for Women” campaign. Go Red for Women is a division of the American Heart Association and aims to help women improve their heart health. Listen closely-heart disease is the #1 killer of women in America. Yep. Heart disease kills more women than any other ailment. 1 out of 3 female deaths is attributed to heart disease. I’d like to raise awareness of this fact-so I’m feeling very Red today.
Now the American Heart Association will bombard you with requests for donations-money, moolah, dollars, dinero-hell, I’m sure they’ll even take pesos or Euros. And while I do believe that research and fund-raising is important, I would encourage every woman (and man) to simply take personal responsibility for their own heart health. And since I’m all about taking small, manageable, attainable steps, if everyone chose just one thing on this list to do, imagine how much healthier of a place the world would be ::cue unicorns and rainbows::
- Stop Smoking (okay I know that’s a big one). So, cut 1 cigarette break out of your normal puff-puff routine.
- Eat one serving of fruit every day for breakfast. For extra points, actually replace the donut or cookie or vending machine snack cake with an apple or orange or banana. All of those on-the-go fruits are just as easy (and cheaper!) than snack cakes.
- Eat one serving of vegetables every day. For extra points, replace one side of rice, or potatoes, or French fries with carrot sticks, green beans, or a salad.
- Make a game with yourself or kids to try one new “healthy food” each week. Even if you think you won’t like it, it will be fun to try. And you just might be surprised to find that you do!
- Park 10 parking spaces further away from the door than you normally do everywhere you go.
- Replace one daily soda or coffee/latte/frappe-mocha-chino-latte-venti-thingy with filtered water (not tap, not bottled).
- Complete one task at work while standing instead of sitting. Extra points for doing this once in the morning, and once in the afternoon.
- Replace the Lucky Charms and Coco Puffs with Raisin Bran, Frosted Shredded Wheat, or Cheerios.
- Go to bed 20 minutes earlier every night.
- Kiss more, hug more, laugh more, smile more…take time to do the little things that make you happy to keep your stress level down. Keep a funny quote on your desktop or taped your cubicle wall-change it often. Put up a few pictures of family (or that really sexy one of your husband to make co-workers mad jealous). My husband and I will have “hug it out time”, where we’ll stop whatever we’re doing and just hug until we both calm down, or people look at us so funny, we laugh. Voila, zero stress.
If all 10 of these ideas were incorporated this month, and maintained for the year, you would:
- Smoke 330 less cigarettes
- Eat 330 less donuts, and 330 more apples.
- Eat over 5,000 less French fries and over 100 more REAL vegetables and foods. (And this is assuming you’re an average American who eats 4 servings of fries per week.)
- Walk over 13,000 more steps (assuming you only walk to and from your car once per day)
- Drink 330 less caffeinated drinks, and 330 more servings of water.
- Get 110 more hours of sleep.
- Significantly (okay, that’s relative) reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and stress.
One small step at a time…unless you’re an overachiever-in which case, let’s chat. I’m sure we’ll get along great!