I’m proud to share with you my top 10 motivational tips to improve your heart health as I collaborate with The Heart Truth® . This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Heart Truth.
There’s something about this growing older thing, isn’t there? I mean, when I was in my twenties, I didn’t really give my health a whole lot of thought. I was still figuring out this marriage and Mama thing, homeschooling, and adult life in general.
As my parents have grown older, I watched their health begin to suffer. My Dad has Congestive Heart Failure and eventually had a pacemaker installed. My Mom began having difficulties, heart-wise as well. After a particularly scary incident at the mall, it was revealed that her issue is heart arrhythmia. She has had two procedures to restore her heart rhythm and was recently released from the hospital after a 3-day stay to monitor her while her medication was changed.
All of this has led me to recognize that I have to take responsibility for my health and wellness. This year, my focus has been on improving my health. Regular workouts, eating well (and often enough), sleeping well, and reducing stress – these are my goals. No, I don’t always meet my goals. But, as one of my favorite quotes states- “A goal is a dream with a plan.”
As time marches on, far more quickly than I like, the days can seem to all run together. Before we know it, days turn into weeks, and weeks into months. I’d like to encourage you, my dear reader, to take charge of your health and wellness right along with me. To change that dream to a goal. To have a plan. To make the necessary changes. To achieve your goals!
I found some inspiration to improve my heart health from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). For more than a decade, The Heart Truth program has worked to raise awareness about women’s risk for heart disease. Did you know that heart disease is the NUMBER ONE killer of women in the US? How about this statistic? Of the women who died in 2013 (the latest data available), one in four women in the US died of heart disease. ONE IN FOUR. Eighty percent of women ages 40 to 60 have one or more risk factors for heart disease. Wow! Given my parents’ heart health history and my age; I realize just how important it is to take my heart health very seriously.
Making the plan is the first step. But what happens when life happens and you begin to lose your motivation? Staying motivated to stick with your plan is so very important. Here are my top 10 tips to keep that motivation strong!
Top 10 Motivational Tips to Improve Your Heart Health:
1. Know your why- In my business coaching group, this is the first step as well. You need to know WHY you are doing something before you can take the first step. It’s also what you will fall back onto when the work of your changes becomes tough.
2. Put it on your calendar- I’m a planner girl, so this is the fun part for me. You have to make plans in order to see them through. Make dates with yourself and don’t break them.
3. Start with one- One change at a time. I tend to overdo and then burn out. Instead, follow the wise words of a friend of mine- good, better, best. Make a good change, then make a better change, then go for the best change. Whether it’s cooking changes (store-bought bread to homemade bread to grinding-your- own-wheat homemade bread), exercise changes, sleep changes, or all of the above . . . begin with one change at a time.
4. Find a cheering section- Even if it’s only one person- your husband, your Mom, your best friend- find someone to lean on when days get tough. Someone who will cheer you on when you feel like giving up. Someone who will celebrate your successes with you.
5. Rethink your role model- Most of us don’t have the goal of being in fitness competitions. We simply want to be the best version of ourselves, to attain a greater level of health and wellness. To that end, be subjective in your choice of which “leaders” to follow. Be sure that this leader is “on the same page” you are on, so to speak.
6. Forgive yourself- We wouldn’t be making conscious changes if we had never made a mistake or bad choice. Be nice to yourself. Move on from the mistakes of the past, as well as get over the mistakes you make each day. Carrying those burdens adds so much unnecessary stress to your life, which has a direct impact on your quality of life.
7. SLEEP- This is one area where I struggle. We get up quite early (3am) for my husband’s job. In order to get 8 hours of sleep, this means that we should be asleep by 7pm. Add in 4 children, a farm, and other life commitments, and this is a struggle for us each evening. We are working to make it more of a priority but admit this is one of the hardest areas for us to improve, even though we know how greatly a lack of sleep impacts one’s health.
8. Move more & sit less- Find ways to move. Take the stairs. Park further away from the store. Do squats when pulling the clothes out of the dryer. Dance in the kitchen. Walk in place while watching TV. The point is just to add more movement to your day, and less sitting.
9. Never go hungry- This would be my second biggest challenge. I have a hard time remembering to eat some days. This only causes me to be super hungry when I do remember and leads to not always making the best food choices. Being prepared with good food choices and eating regularly are two ways to stay on top of a good eating plan.
10. Remember that change takes time- You and I did not get in the shape or condition we are in overnight and we will not become healthier overnight. Celebrate the small successes each day, as they lead up to bigger successes over time. Give yourself grace, knowing that you are working towards improving your heart health.
For more motivation, head over to check out National Women’s Health Week, which is celebrated from Mother’s Day, May 8th through May 14, 2016. This week-long event is a time to encourage women to make their heart health a priority. You’ll find tips on the steps you can take to live a healthier, happier life, at every age!
During National Women’s Health Week, Small Steps, #FromTheHeart, will be shared across The Heart Truth’s social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest). These short videos feature different steps women can take to improve their heart health.
Be aware of the risk factors and learn to reduce your risk at the Heart Truth site. I’d love to encourage you as you work to improve your heart health. Share with me, what changes are you making to your daily routine?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Heart Truth®. All opinions are 100% mine.
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