Sponsored by AHA
Throughout my entire life, I’ve been aware of the importance of heart health.
Heart health is personal to me. My maternal grandfather passed away at the young age of 47 of heart disease. When I was a little girl, 47 years old always seemed “older” to me. Now here I am, just shy of 40, and all I can think about is how young my grandfather truly was when he passed away.
My mother never got to introduce him to my father.
My mother never got to have him walk her down the aisle.
My mother never got to tell him she was pregnant.
My mother never got to introduce him to her children.
I never got to experience life with a grandfather. And I never got to introduce him to his namesake, my firstborn son William.
I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes because it’s such a personal thing to me. My mother made it her mission throughout her young adult life and on to be heart healthy. To take care of herself so that history wouldn’t repeat itself with her.
She instilled those values in her four children by emphasizing the importance of taking care of your health and being proactive in making sure you’re heart healthy.
Having five children of my own, those values are never far from my mind, but following through is not easy.
I have to think of creative ways to get everyone on board with the idea of being more heart healthy.
For us it is about small steps, eating more fruits and vegetables is a good place to start
It doesn’t have to be a whole meal overhaul, just little things here and there.
Sometimes it is as simple as making sure our playtime involves a lot of active play!
The extra benefit for me is wearing out the kids who then sleep very well.
The harder part comes when I have to say no, like saying no to sugary treats and drinks.
I hope I am making my mother proud by following in her footsteps, because of her I know the reason for making the effort.
It is why I absolutely love the new anthem of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association called Life is WhyTM.
Life is WhyTM was developed to capture the momentum of AHA and ASA’s growing organization and the passion of their people, and to communicate their mission to one day realize a world free of heart disease and stroke.
I think it’s so crucial to spread the word and have a Life is WhyTM reason. Mine is so history won’t repeat itself, for my kids or me.