If you’re like me, you spend lots of time worrying about your children’s health while barely giving yourself a second thought. But as the American Heart Association celebrates its annual Go Red for Women Campaign this month, it made me stop and think about myself.
Nearly five times as many women die of heart attacks than of breast cancer, according to the National Coalition for Women with Heart disease. And heart-related disease is also the leading cause of death for women in the United States. With this in mind, I found Parenting Early Years magazine extremely helpful with their quick tips on keeping your ticker strong:
Be smart about the pill. If your contraception plan involves birth-control pills, make sure you know the risks. If you smoke, have high blood pressure or a history of blood clotting, the pill can increase complications.
Get moving. Do anything that gets your heart rate up for at least 95 minutes a week. Don’t feel like you have to be running laps to get good results. Climbing stairs and pushing strollers counts, too.
Calm down. Stress raises blood pressure, so identify those difficult times of the day (hello witching hour!) and find ways to breathe more deeply.
Limit alcohol. Before you raise a glass of red wine in the name of heart health, consider this: Grape juice has the same perks. And having more than one glass of wine a day can raise your blood pressure.
So, while we may not stop worrying about the health of our children, let’s be sure to take the necessary precautions to preserve our own health. And in the end, our children will be glad we did!