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Taking Steps to Be Heart Healthy

This post brought to you by American Heart Association. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Busy Creating Memories.

Two of my favorite phrases in the world:

“It’s a boy!”
“It’s a girl.”

I heard them both under very different circumstances. My sister was the one who told me my son was a boy, because she was with the birth mother at the ultrasound.

When we found out our daughter was a girl, we had to hold on to that through a fog of fear. And three months later, when she was born, a kind nurse was the one to tell us the gender of our stillborn baby, our daughter’s twin. “It’s a boy.”

We were so grateful that our girl had made it safely to our family.

After years of struggling with infertility, we’re parents. I’m a stay at home mother. I’ve been with my kids for every gurgle, every step, every smile and milestone. I love my children. My children love me.

I don’t want to miss a single second of their precious lives. I want to be their mom for a very long time. I want to grow to see them become grandparents so that I can spoil my grandchildren. I’d guess you can say that I’m preparing for the future, considering my oldest is six.

Last year I started running. I ran my first race, a 10k. My husband and kids were there at the finish line, clapping and shouting. They love to hear about my running milestones. When we take a drive, I say, “I ran there this morning.” And they look on with interest. My daughter frequently asks if I am wearing my fitness tracker and how many steps I’ve taken that day. (They know my daily goal is 10,000.)

When they ask me why I run or track my exercise, I tell them this is the only body I get, so I want to take care of it. I work hard to be healthy.

The kids decided that was pretty cool, and they want to be healthy too.

“Is playing at the park exercise?”
“Is playing tag in the back yard exercise?”
“Is riding my bike exercise?”
“Is dancing exercise?”
“Is Tae Kwon Do exercise?”

I was so happy that they were catching on. Exercise and healthy living isn’t just about dieting and going to the gym. It’s about an active, happy life.

Just two days ago, I was dropping my daughter off at preschool. She said, “Mom, I love ballet. Even though it’s hard work, I love it. And it’s good for my body, like exercise!”

For Christmas I bought my husband a fitness tracker, and now he’s in on the “action” too.

February is American Hearth Month! I read a recent article about how the American Heart Association recommends taking at least 10,000 steps a day. And unless you have an active job, getting 10,000 steps in a day will take some effort on your part.

Here are a few EASY ways to increase your steps in a day:

Walk while you watch tv – get up and walk during commercials, or walk in place.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Use the bathroom that’s out of the way (both at home and at work).
Park further away at the store or at work. (In the time it takes you to circle the parking lot 8 times looking for the perfect spot, you could have already made it inside! I’m actually saving you time AND helping your heart.)
Walk your child to play group or school instead of driving.
Take two trips when bringing in groceries. I know, I know. I like to grab it all in the first go around, but make two or three trips to get in a few extra steps.
Walk around the office. Need to talk to someone in an office down the hall? Get up and walk there instead of picking up the phone.
Walk around the house. And one I need to work on, get up and walk to talk to your kids instead of yelling through the house.

Need some other ideas on how to keep your heart healthy and happy? Check out the Life Is Why website. They have some great boards on Pinterest too!

Why do I want a healthy heart?

Our future is Why.

The hikes we’ll take on family trips. Playing basketball in the driveway, and playing catch at the park. Riding our bikes to the ice cream shop, and chasing ducks at the pond. Running a half marathon together.

Our future together as a family is why I’m choosing a healthier lifestyle. I’m taking steps toward a healthier heart. (Get it, steps?!)

Why are you motivated to live a healthy life? What are you doing to be heart healthy?

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