Tips For Making Mother's Day Heart Healthy
Our mothers play an important role in our lives, and Mother's Day gives an opportunity to demonstrate how we feel. Have you ever thought of showing your caring in a heart-healthy way?
Most of us would do what we can to ensure our mothers lead full, healthy and long lives. Do you know that, among all women who die each year in the United States, one in four dies of heart disease ... and one in two dies of heart disease and stroke, combined. So, instead of splurging on calorie-, fat- and cholesterol-laden chocolates or pancakes, consider the following tips from cardiologist Pam Marcovitz, M.D., medical director of the J. Peter and Florine Ministrelli Women's Heart Center at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, as gifts with a heart-healthy difference.
1. Begin a walking program with mom. Make this a regular part of your routine and spend some quality time together trekking through the neighborhood or local trails. If you and mom are already in shape, go jogging or bicycling instead.
2. Give mom a membership to a gym or the local YMCA, or encourage her to enroll in an exercise class at the local community center or gym.
3. If you are a daughter, you could sign up with mom for that exercise class. Showing her that you are also interested in taking care of your own health will please her.
4. Instead of going out to a restaurant for a Mother's Day brunch, check on the Internet for some delicious, heart-healthy recipes, and make them yourself. Ask family members to pitch in. This is a handy solution if your family budget is feeling stretched at the moment, as entertaining at home is less costly than eating out.
5. Remind mom to contact her physician and arrange her annual health checkup.
6. If mom has a problem with her weight, advise her to discuss a weight loss program with her physician. Make sure that exercise is part of her new quality-of-life regimen.
7. Package up in freezer containers healthy meals you are making for your own family and give them to moms who live by themselves and don't enjoy cooking. These home-cooked meals will be much better than sodium-laden, pre-packaged dinners - and tastier!
8. Help mom pack school lunches with heart healthy food and keep snacks in the refrigerator that are good for all of you, such as cut-up fresh fruit.
9. Individuals who get seven or more hours of sleep nightly are less likely to suffer a heart attack. So, if mom has trouble sleeping, encourage her to go to bed an hour earlier. Relaxing in bed with a good book, instead of doing more housework, can help relax her. Also, a gift of a "white noise" machine might be appreciated.
10. If you want to give her chocolates for Mother's Day, buy her the dark variety. A study discussed at an American Heart Association‘s Annual Scientific Meeting suggested that eating a small amount of dark chocolate each day for two weeks could improve circulation to the heart.
Research suggests that 80 percent of heart disease is preventable. It takes motivation, support and the determination to get oneself on track with a healthy lifestyle. Let Mother's Day be the starting point to getting mom - and yourself - going in the right direction. With exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep, a heart-healthy lifestyle is within reach.
The Ministrelli Women's Heart Center is a state-of-the-art facility with on-site diagnostic capabilities including stress tests, EKGs and echocardiograms (heart ultrasounds). It is the first center in Michigan dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and research of heart disease in women.