By Kristin Yancy
We all know that February is the international month of loovvveeee, so it should come as no surprise that it is also officially the American Heart Association’s National Heart Month. Heart disease is still the number one killer of women in the United States, so now is a great time to think about the best ways to take care of that ticker! In his editorial for Chicago Hospital News, Dr. Clyde Yancy, former President of the AHA, breaks down heart healthy living in five simple steps. We’re sharing them with you because we know Fly Gyals want to stay fly for many years to come!
1. Don’t smoke. Ever.
2. Maintain a moderate level of exercise. Most Fly Gyals probably have this one in the bag. But just in case, know that even 30 minutes of walking a day is enough to keep your heart in good shape!
3. Sustain a healthy weight. This can be sort of a tricky one to figure out, but the best way to determine whether or not your weight is ‘healthy’ is by measuring your Body Mass Index, or BMI. An individual’s BMI is her body mass divided by the square of her height. Calculate your BMI here.
4. Keep a healthy diet. Check out Fly Gyal’s rundown on Superfoods. But simply put: your ‘friends’ include lean means, fish, fruits, vegetables, and lots of water! ‘Foes’ include sugar-sweetened beverages, complex carbohydrates, too much saturated fat, and trans fats. Of course, there are other things that are good and bad for you. Just remember, everything in moderation!
5. Know your numbers. The next time you go in for a regular check up write these things down on the back of your physician’s business card and keep it in your wallet: your blood pressure, your cholesterol level, and your blood sugar level. We may seem a little young to be worrying about our cholesterol, but keeping track of this info is a good way to keep an eye on your heart health and build the habit of ‘knowing your numbers’.
It can be easy to forget about this most important muscle, but with these tips in mind you can make sure you’re giving love to your love-giver. Major bonus – heart healthy living can also reduce your risk of cancer. And a healthy Fly Gyal is a happy Fly Gyal!