Happy Valentine's Day ALL!!
Today we wish Happy Valentine's Day to our friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. Generally we think of the day as one for candy, special dates, going out for romantic dinners, flowers, lots of hugs, love poems, candy, wine, dancing and generally lots of fun. Its one of the most lucrative days for flower shops and for those expecting and giving Valentine's Day gifts. Those who expect to receive and do not get can feel slighted if they are forgotten. So, I do not wish to spoil the fun, because I will have at least one piece of chocolate too. Whatever way you celebrate even if you are alone enjoy yourself!
However, its also Heart Health Month. Last Friday all over the USA was Go Red for Women Day, which is meant to raise awareness about strokes, heart disease and related illnesses especially in women. I saw many women wearing red who knew about the day of awareness, but we need to spread the word some more everyday.
Heart Health Month usually is overshadowed by Valentine's Day, because there are many products being sold for the celebration. Many of them may not even be good for the heart but, well we kind of overlook that fact. Whether or not someone brings you a gift today, it a good time to check in on someone who may need to hear about good heart health habits. Yes proper diet is almost getting to be a sticky subject too but, not quite like politics and religion as yet so you can still go there without too much fuss. Some people think they know it all though and since none of us knows every thing just approach with sharing,caring, and love.
Just last week a co-worker's mother died suddenly from a heart attack and yesterday another of my co-workers lost her 25 year old son suddenly from a heart attack. The threat is real. So what should we do? How do we gently remind our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and associates about watching their hearts?
We have heard this a million times but, we still have to keep repeating the fact that you must watch your diet. The supermarkets want to sell their products and so, you have to notice all those beautiful and pricey magazines as you are checking out which are geared toward eating better. They are full of suggestions, recipes, and articles discussing how to begin your heart health journey. So, maybe give a gift of one of those magazines and invite someone to cook with you one day, or offer to make them a meal from some of the suggestions. Then you can pleasantly and carefully start the conversation.
If you order your groceries online and have them delivered you can have your shopper add a smoothie magazine for example. They are filled with great suggestions and recipes. There are also free magazines and newspapers outside of your Whole Foods Market with great articles about local restaurants and farmer's markets. They are quite informative and will definitely have you looking further into healthy eating.
Not too much on the culinary side, then you can always pick up a magazine or cook book quietly, and get your chef self working in the privacy of your own home. Or, for my extremely too busy to cook readers who would rather order and have your food delivered you are are lucky to have quite an array of healthy eateries from which to order.
Another way to gently alert someone to better heart health on Valentine's Day is to buy them a beautiful card and stick an article in it about maybe strokes. Yes I am serious! Show your love! It is a good way to let someone know you really care. I work in health care and, well we can talk about that another day. It's no fun having to be in a wheel chair, because of a stroke knowing your car is parked right outside and think of the errands you would like to run right now if only you could walk to your car, get in and drive.
Do you smoke? It's 2020 we know better. If the advertisements on TV are not startling enough then just visit someone who is on 24/7 oxygen which is one of the side effects of life long smoking. And I know that you may be saying that's not the only reason that would cause someone to be on 24/7 oxygen. I understand and it's grave either way. But, you can take precautions as the experts have told us many many times that one way to guard your hearth health would be not to smoke.
Exercise they tell us, is one of the single most important things we can do to help us combat heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. You can walk as much as possible. That doesn't cost any money. There are reasons other than training for a marathon, and looking good in your beautiful clothes that there is such a vast number of fitness centers, videos, apps, and home gym apparatus available to us today for helping us get in shape. Many people are well aware of the importance of regular exercise and you can do your own research very easily. What is the right amount of exercise for you, how do you start and what type of exercise do you like? There is something out there for everyone's liking whether its dance, weights, or whatever you may choose. As one fabulous lady said "just get moving".
Not only will you exercise to keep your heart healthy and your body healthy but losing weight should really be on our list. Would you prefer to need one care giver to move you when you get to your caregiver days or do you want to need two. Oh wait it's Valentine's days no depressing thoughts. Anyway, starting now to think of such things will prove helpful in your wallet and also for peace of mind. Even with new apparatus in hospitals to aid with lifting it is not pleasant to the person being lifted.
While we are talking about weight, how about those large sodas? Can they get any larger? People just drink water please. It actually tastes good. Try it for 30 days and see if you like it enough to ditch the sodas. They are one source of weight gain so say the experts. Our doctors and other health experts tell us that the sugar in those sodas along with not enough exercise helps to put lots of needless weight on the body which is a contributor to diabetes. Think about your caregiver days when someone has to shower you, and help you on and off the toilet. Oh never mind it Valentine's Day. We can revisit this another time.
So on this Valentines Day lets consider eating fruits and vegetables, walking, exercise, avoiding excessive alcohol, ditching cigarettes and sharing our heart healthy habits with whomever will listen. Like your Grandma used to say "its for your own good".
Bonus:Thanks to one of my 93 year old lady clients who watches "The Doctors" everyday. I watch on the days I am with her and caught this very important segment about the heart. Below is the link to a very informative show they aired about unnecessary heart surgeries. Click in the link below.
Placebo Surgeries! Popular Heart Procedures Unnecessary?
Go Red For Women:https://www.goredforwomen.org/
How are you safeguarding your heart this Valentine's Day?
Share in the comments and let's have some fun.
Until next time,
Ruth Y. Webster