We went back to the studio this week to record another episode for our podcast, The MotherPod.
Since February is heart month, we chatted with Dr. Heather Johnson, Associate Professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and co-director of UW Health’s Advance Hypertension Program, about healthy habits that we can all adopt to show our hearts some love.
As both a cardiologist and a busy mom, Dr. Johnson understands how important it is to take care of your heart, but also how difficult it can be. About 1 in 5 young adults have high blood pressure, and they generally have a hard time lowering and managing it, partly because of all the other responsibilities they juggle.
There is a tool that can help! Dr. Johnson shares a program she helped develop along with colleagues and a group of young adults, called MyHEART (My Hypertension Education and Reaching Target program). It’s a digital tool which helps young adults (or anyone) live a healthier life, lower their blood pressure, and prevent heart disease. The website, myheartmychoice.org, gives you access to all sorts of tips for healthy eating, exercise, managing medication, and so much more! You can even follow MyHEART on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with the latest in heart health.
It’s so important to manage your health, and Dr. Johnson encourages each and every one of you to make yourself a priority. Especially as women, we tend to put everyone else first, but we have to realize that we can’t take care of others if we aren’t at our best. Pay attention to your heart and any warning signs you might be experiencing such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and nausea. Take care of your heart!
Get regular exercise. (It can be as easy as 10 minute chunks three times/day.)
And if you’re not at a healthy weight, work towards gradual weight loss.
Focus on thing at a time, and enjoy the benefits. Your heart can actually start to recover or stabilize with healthy lifestyle changes! “Today is always a great day to start.”
For more with Dr. Johnson, and to learn how she manages her own heart health, listen to the full episode here.