Keeping my heart healthy

Back when I was in the 7th grade I had to option to join the track team.  Since everyone else in my 16 person class was doing it, I did too. I hated it. I wasn’t good. I tried to run hurdles because I could jump over the foam ones that my coach had put together, but when it came time for a track meet, I buckled under the pressure and was too scared to jump. My other option, the shot put wasn’t great either, my arm strength was pretty minimal and I knew nothing about throwing. I generally showed up for the social part of it. I didn’t even give running a second chance, I had no desire.

Fast forward to when I lived in Athens at OU for 4 years, I was as lazy as can be. I had the best gym facility for FREE and some amazing scenic paths to run on and I would sometimes walk on them and then sometimes run from one lamp post to the next, but never really thought running was for me.

Then something happened when my mom started running. It was kind of a thing that if she could do it, then I could too! So I started running here and there and then one day I just did it, I ran 3 miles in a row on a treadmill and I felt like a BADASS!  It was the first runners high and it was so great!  I would go back and run another 3 and then another, but I was never consistent about it. I never made the time on a daily basis. 

Fast forward a few more years and one of my best friends told me that I should do a 5K with her and that I would love it. I was hesitant and not totally sure that I could make it. Before the race I was nervous, during the race I was blown away that I was actually doing it and right after the race I wanted more!  I wanted to sign up for a race every weekend!  It was so much more fun than running on my own!!! I was bit by the bug HARD!

Then the rest is what they call history.  After a little while, I figured out how to keep breathing while I ran and then it was a head game. As long as I could get it in my head that I was going to run, my body kept up! It was amazing! I might even be so bold to say that I’m getting good at it. In between being pregnant twice and losing the baby weight twice, I have done lots of races and it makes me feel good. 

Ryan had a rip in his jacket lately and his thumb slid thru it and he proudly looked up at me and said “it’s like your running shirts mom”. They notice!  Even when I think they are busy playing, they see what I am doing. That makes me proud! When I ran the Akron Marathon Relay he waited in the stands with my parents for me to cross the finish line for way longer than a 3 year old should and as my mom says, he lit up when he saw me run thru and proudly held up that sign! 

I love that Ry and Jack can see me run and know that being active is a good thing. They don't have to run or even play sports, but they have to be busy!  It's important to me that they get to be active in some way every day.


Since February is American Heart Month and the number 1 cause of death in Americans I thought I could use this as my PSA. 

I have a desk job, so it’s even more important that I get up and get active daily. I chase the kids around at night but sometimes that isn’t enough. It’s recommended that you get 20 minutes of exercise a day and this can be as simple as walking. It doesn’t even have to be 20 minutes in a row, it’s just so important to get moving!  We live in a digital world and it’s easy to sit have everything at your fingertips. Parking  a little further away to walk into work, taking the stairs, or even the longer route to the meeting you are headed to can add up. 

The other important thing is to take care of yourself. No one is going to stop you and make you go work out. I have noticed this so much since I started working in an office. There are so many days that I would rather stay at my desk and keep working or not go outside because it’s snowing or rainy out, but it’s up to me to hold myself accountable. I want to be here for a long time to see my boys grow up and someday have kids of their own and in order to do that I need to take care of me. 

Getting the right amount of sleep is a hard one for me as a mom of two busy little guys. But again, take the time to take care of you!  You will feel rested and it will help your heart. 

See the chart below for the other things that you can do to help your heart!  Don’t smoke, eat right, be active and take time for you!  Your friends and family will be happy that you did! They want to have you around as long as possible!


What will you be doing this month to get moving?  What are your favorite activities that don't even feel like exercise?

I was honored to be asked by the American Recall Center to help spread the word about heart health for American Heart Month. You can find out more information here and check out how some other bloggers are keeping their hearts healthy as well!

As always, you can find me here on facebook, instagram, and twitter!

Comments

  1. Great post! I remember doing EXACTLY what you did in high school: first I tried the hurdles. One day at practice I actually perfectly cleared one hurdle. It was a beautiful, toe-touching, text book jump. Then I wouldn't do it anymore because it scared the bejezus out of me. I tried shotput after that, and then I just stopped going to track. It's good to remind people that heart disease can be controlled with activity.

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    1. yay! im glad i wasn't the only one ;) seriously, from the front of the hurtle to the top is sooooo long! no thanks! ill sip on my water and just giggle with my friends :) Being a parent changes so much but the most for me is the need to be here as long as possible to spend time with them!
      Thanks girl!

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