Throughout the world, Mother’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate mothers of all ages. One way we can observe this holiday is to encourage moms to take some simple steps to take care of themselves so that they live long, healthy lives:
- Make wise food choices: The foods that you consume each day can impact your overall well-being. But what does it mean to “eat healthy?” According to the the American Heart Association's Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations, it’s important to choose foods that are nutrient-rich to fuel your body but are lower in calories.1 For more ideas about how to make wise food choices, read this article, “Muscle Loss and Aging: Tips for Staying Healthy and Strong” and visit www.eatright.org.
- Exercise: Make physical activity a priority. Adults who accomplish 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity five times a week—or exercise a minimum of 150 minutes a week—reduce their risk of a cardiac event.2 Why? Research suggests that regular exercise benefits us in a number of ways, including helping us reduce body weight, blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol (LDL and total cholesterol) as well as increasing good cholesterol (HDL).3 Learn more about exercise by reading the “12 Deadly Workout Sins.”
- Know your numbers: Schedule routine check-ups with your doctor to measure your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, so that together, you can evaluate your current health profile and make lifestyle modifications as needed. The important thing is to take a proactive role in managing your health.
- Know your family health history: Family health history is an important risk factor for developing a number of serious diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Knowing your family health history is important because it gives you and your healthcare team information so that you can take steps to reduce your risk for certain health issues.
- If something does not seem right, talk to your doctor: While knowing your family history is important, it isn’t the only thing that matters, as other conditions and habits may play a role in your well-being. If something seems wrong about your health, listen to your body.
This Mother’s Day, help celebrate mothers throughout the world by encouraging them to make their health a priority. Read about preventive screenings moms should think about for themselves:
Recommendations for adults from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force website
Women: Stay healthy at any age from the Agency for Health Research and Quality website
Connect with us on Twitter at @AbbottNews to read more tips or to share your healthy habits.
1. The American Heart Association's diet and lifestyle recommendations. American Heart Association. Website:www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/The-American-Heart-Associations-Diet-and-Lifestyle-Recommendations_UCM_305855_Article.jsp. Accessed April 24, 2014.
2. World Heart Day: Your roadmap to a healthy heart. Tips for adults 18-64 years old. World Heart Federation. Website: www.world-heart-federation.org/what-we-do/awareness/world-heart-day/your-roadmap-to-a-healthy-heart/tips-for-adults-18-64-years-old/. Accessed April 21, 2014.
3. Myers, J. Exercise and cardiovascular health. Circulation. 2003;107:e2-e5. Website: www.circ.ahajournals.org/content/107/1/e2.full. Accessed April 21, 2014.