Movement Is Life Journey

heart disease

B. Embrace Movement and Better Nutrition to Break the Vicious Cycle

You're so right. The key to avoiding heart disease has more to do with lifestyle changes than just about anything else. You can ensure your heart remains healthy by taking the steps to move more and eat healthier.

Let's learn more about Heart Disease.

woman walking

Making smart choices about how you choose to live. As much as 80% of heart disease and cardiovascular disease risk can be avoided for the rest of your life if you are willing to do the following:

  • Eat healthier—watch your portion sizes and choose plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish, nuts, beans, and seeds. Eat most of your meals without meat. But, if you choose to eat meat, make it white meat (without the skin) or the leanest cuts of red meat available to you.
  • Move more and stay physically active—slowly work up to at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity (like brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity (like swimming, jogging, cycling, or running) every week. The key is getting your heart rate up—which is exercise for your heart.

Learning how to add movement into your daily routines.

  • Walk your dog or take a walk with family or friends.
  • Walk briskly around the mall.
  • Get up from your desk and walk around your office while on the phone.
  • Park far away while running errands and walk to your destination.
  • Consider a fitness bracelet to track your steps each day, and make 6,000 steps every day your goal.

Ditching the excuses. Make it a point to find something positive about your new choices. This can be the very first step to moving more, getting a healthier lifestyle, and maintaining a healthy heart.

Join a team. Pick an activity that you love, or you think you might love, round up some friends, and start playing a sport. Team sports can be fun and keep you motivated and accountable.

Take the stairs. The elevator and escalator may go up, but neither makes your heart rate climb, which is something you need to keep a healthy heart.

women exercising

Dance. Whether it's praise dancing at your church, ballroom dancing at the local club, or dancing around your living room to your favorite oldies but goodies, dancing will help you move more, burn calories, and exercise your heart (and maybe even provide you with a new hobby).

Start walking with a bit more energy. Try to walk on most or all days of the week. Each session should include a 5-minute warm-up and a 5-minute cool-down (both at a slower pace).

Week Walk for: Total Time
1 5 minutes per day 15 minutes
2 7 minutes per day 17 minutes
3 9 minutes per day 19 minutes
4 11 minutes per day 21 minutes
5 13 minutes per day 23 minutes
6 15 minutes per day 25 minutes
7 20 minutes per day 30 minutes
8 23 minutes per day 33 minutes
9 26 minutes per day 36 minutes
10 28 minutes per day 38 minutes
11 30 minutes per day 40 minutes

You may be inclined to think of heart disease as an old white man's disease. In fact:

  • African Americans have a much higher incidence of heart failure than other races.
  • It often begins developing at a much younger age.
  • Before age 50, African Americans' heart failure rate is 20 times higher than that of Caucasians.

You may not have access to healthcare, or you may simply not take the time to see your healthcare provider to get regular preventative screenings. This means that heart disease can sneak up on you. You may have no idea how the Vicious Cycle is affecting your heart. Either way, movement and better food choices can start you on your way to better health.

50,000 African American Women die of Heart Disease each year
woman on treadmill

Perhaps you've already been diagnosed with heart disease and stroke. You may not even be aware that it causes more deaths than all forms of cancer combined. Heart disease and stroke rank as the #1 killer of Hispanic/Latina women. And lack of movement and the Vicious Cycle are at the "heart" of these deadly conditions.

It's good that you are willing to start moving and change your eating patterns. You're making a conscious choice to develop a new vision for yourself and raise the awareness of those you love.

You're on your way to solving the puzzle and breaking the cycle. Now you know the importance of movement in avoiding Heart Disease. If you would like to go back and follow choice A, please click here. If you are ready to move forward, let's take a look at the final piece of the puzzle by clicking on Movement

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