On Friday I took the day off of subbing and I attended the American Heart Association's "Go Red For Women" Luncheon and I had such a great time meeting other bloggers, listening to women's stories and testimonials and learning more about spreading awareness about heart health!
Nicole and Brianne sporting some stylish RED gear!
Listening to other women tell their own stories got me thinking about my own. I may be young (and look even younger) but it is NEVER too early to begin thinking about your health and being a healthy role model for my kids (students and my own) someday is something that I take very seriously. How can I expect my kids to live a healthy lifestyle if I am not modeling that for them?
Last year about this time I took one of the many methods courses to obtain my elementary education degree and one of them was the PE/Health Methods course. I took this class early because I knew we had to do the fitness test several times throughout the semester, which included running that dreaded mile. On the second night of class we ran the mile, timed one minute of push-ups and one minute of sit ups. We had the option of using Drake University's state of the art scale that measures body fat and muscle. On this night I realized that taking this class early was a blessing and not only did I get it done early, it made me realize what an unhealthy life I was living.
My mile was horrible. I struggled to run it in 13 minutes and I finished right at 13:13. This was not too surprising, and although it was a slap in the face, I was expecting it. Now skip ahead to the end of the class that day when my body fat was measured, and that was when the real wake up call happened. I know women are supposed to have more fat than men, but when I received my percentage all I wanted to do was cry (and I did).
Luckily, I was alone with the professor (who is a woman only a few years older than me and someone that I have come to find so inspiring and I just adore her). Luckily, she was so sympathetic and so nice about it. Never once did I feel judgement from her about not leading a very active life. (Yes, I am "active" as in I did not sit at a desk every day, and my career before education was on my feet all day, but I did not make fitness a big priority at all).
I was in denial about how healthy I was, and living life like things were fine. Actually, things were not fine. I have a history of diabetes AND heart problems in my family and taking care of myself physically is not an option if I want to prevent these diseases.
From the luncheon I learned that 80% of coronary heart disease is preventable and one in four women will die each year from heart disease. Although both men and women have heart attacks, women are more likely to die from a heart attack.
The facts are pretty scary.
There are SO many small things we can do to prevent heart disease. Of course, being overweight does make you more susceptible to heart disease and increases your chance of getting type 2 diabetes, but acknowledging this about yourself is the first step. Like myself, I was in denial and sometimes it takes a very stark realization to make you wake up and change your lifestyle.
And it will be worth it in the end.
Find out what motivates you. For me, it started out that I did not want to be a bad example for the kids in my life. Today, it is still that, but it has turned into so much more! I hope you figure it out, too!
What keeps you motivated to stay healthy (besides the obvious reasons)? Have you ever had a wake up call like I did during PE Methods?