Got Fat? Get Motivated! Take Care of your Heart

"I could not have made it this far had there not been angels along the way." ~ Della Reese 

Got Fat? Get Motivated! Take Care of Your Heart
Special Dedication to my grandmother
by Determined D.


Today my grandmother would have been 91.  She passed away in March of 2000, about 5 months after her 80th birthday.  I was her first grandchild, and she would often remind me of that.  She never judged others or had favorites, but she sure knew how to make everyone feel special; and she is still with me today.  Before she passed away, I spent extra time with her, driving her to doctor's appointments.  She would often want me to stay and keep her company.  At the time, I wasn't extremely enthusiastic about staying but today I am very thankful I did, as I am able to appreciate her more and be thankful for her kind words, thoughts, and wisdom.  Her chocolate shavings in my ice-cream also helped!   

Today's post is dedicated to her.  She is not only my angel, she watches over all.  She earned her wings on earth as she cared for all without judgement.  She was an extremely giving woman who didn't expect anything in return.  She didn't get to meet my children, however, they know her by name because I often speak about her.  Happy Birthday, gram we love you.  You are forever in our hearts xo. 

My grandmother had heart problems due to contracting rheumatic fever during childhood.  There were no antibiotics to help cure streptococcus bacteria, therefore, the bacteria damaged her heart valves.  Rheumatic fever  can occur from untreated or improperly treated strep throat (streptococcus bacteria). (A.D.A.M., 2010).   Rheumatic fever still exists today, therefore, it is extremely important to properly treat strep throat.  It isn't as common, in fact, it is now considered, "a rare" complication; the last outbreak took place during the 1980s (A.D.A.M, 2010).   The damage to my grandmother's heart required major valve surgery during the 80s or early 90s.  In fact, she opted for "pig valve" surgery. Yes, there is such a thing ~ Pig Valve.   Her surgery was successful. 


There are so many diverse heart conditions today, in fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women (CDC, 2010).  The good news is you can make some changes to your overall health.  Become heart healthy today.  A great start is learning your Life Check Score.  My Life Check Score is 7.3. Life Check is a tool sponsored by the American Heart Association.  Take this short assessment, it contains great ideas on how to make simple changes and become heart healthy:  Life Check Score


Some other tips include:

Get Moving ~ Increase your activity.  If you are not ready to go to the gym or begin an activity (I miss mine so much) walk at least 30 minutes per day! The AHA (American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes, 5 times per week). 

Portion Control ~ Watch your portions!  Portion control is important, do not overeat.  It is also important to eat lots of fruits and vegetables!  Share your desserts :) or only have dessert once per week. 

Quit Smoking ~ Smoking is obviously bad for your HEALTH.  I am at an advantage because I do not smoke, and never picked up the habit.  Quitting can be extremely difficult but there are many programs in place to assist individuals in ridding cigarettes out of their life. Check with your Human Resource department; some businesses have adapted a no-smoking policy and programs to support it.   

De-Stress ~ Stress can negatively affect your health.  Find ways to minimize your stress level.  Personally, I de-stress through exercise.  There are so many ways one can de-stress or release stress.  Find what works for you. A massage every once in awhile helps :). 

I hope you find this entry helpful, if you would like to see more of these posts please take my weekly survey. 


Stay Determined & Healthy! 
Love,
Determined D. XO
PS. The references below are great sources for additional information.  Check them out!


References: 
A.D.A.M. Encyclopedia. (2010, May)  Rheumatic Fever. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0004388/


Heart Disease Facts (2010, December). http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

*My favorite source: Heart.org:Getting Healthy

Disclosure:  The author is not a medical expert nor claims to be.  The information in this post is not meant to be utilized in place of real medical advice.  The author will not be legally responsible for any readers decisions in conjunction with the information contained in this post. 

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