week 10: START! a movement

that’s exactly what we did last week at the american heart association’s national start! walking day in orange county.  i joined miss shay sorrells from season 8 of nbc’s the biggest loser to lead the crowd of union bank employees, complete in work attire and tennies (them, not us), in a warm-up before the walk commenced.  of course shay inspired the crowd beforehand with the phenomenol

story of her journey from 476 pounds down to XXX pounds. wanna know?  tune into the finale on in may!  the event was organized by the american heart association to create awareness around the importance of integrating movement into your everyday life….even if it means toting a pair of shoes to work and taking only a half-hour to eat and then hitting the pavement for the next half-hour.  other ideas to START! adding a little movement into your (busy) workday:

  • walk to lunch and back or “earn” that late-morning starbucks by walking there
  • instead of emailing walk to your co-worker’s office/cube to burn calories and connect 1:1
  • park further away in the parking lot instead of wasting time trying to find the best spot
  • try wearing a pedometer and set a goal for # of steps per day…and beat yourself by 10 steps everyday to work your way up

so why, might you ask, is this a cause so near and dear to my (and shay’s) heart?  pun intended.  fitlosophy has teamed up with the american heart association for the BLOG YOUR HEART OUT campaign which follows five bloggers through the 12-week betteru program because we want to increase awareness around the risks of heart disease.   check out this fact from the american heart association website – making the link between their START! walking campaign and heart disease:

women who walked two or more hours a week  had a significantly lower risk of stroke than women who didn’t walk, according to a large, long-term study reported in stroke: journal of the american heart association.

so week 10 in the betteru program talks about the importance of knowing your family history so you can be aware of your risk.  as i mentioned in week 1, heart disease runs in my family.  after having lost 3 great grandparents to heart disease and/or stroke and also having my grandmother still struggle with heart problems, i have a very personal connection to this cause.  and for shay, her heart is in creating awareness for her family and loved ones as well – get this: african-american women are 35% more likely than non-hispanic white women to die from heart disease.

do you know your family’s history of heart disease?  make that your goal this week: find out.  while there are many things you can do to prevent heart disease, no matter how much you may want to sometimes post-holiday chaos, you cannot change who your family is.  for more info on how to improve your health by working on factors you CAN change, read here.  for more information on how to somehow remove that strange uncle family tree, well you’re on your own there.

so join the shay and me as we support the american heart association to START! a movement that will change the shape of america (and the world!) – literally.  want more?

my final thought for you:  make a conscious decision to do at least 1 thing that’s good for you each day.  your heart will thank you…

with all my HEART,

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