Another February filled with flowers and sweetheart greeting cards has come and gone. As we eagerly await the lazy days of summer, let’s not forget those all-important hearts that are everywhere during the first few months of the year. As the symbol of love, the heart is the icon of human connection. It is the also the symbol of health and well-being.
Yet, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the U.S., killing nearly one-quarter of all women over the age of 65. Even more astonishing is the fact that heart disease is the third leading cause of premature death in women between the ages of 35 and 44. The good news is that our risk for heart disease can be significantly decreased through a healthy diet, stress reduction and daily exercise.
I know that moving my body and eating more veggies is good for me. Yet I often find it difficult to balance being a busy hospital executive, mom and wife with exercise and healthy eating. In my own attempt to improve my heart health and set a good example for my family, a simple search on my smartphone led me to numerous free or low-cost apps that provide quick and easy-to-follow heart-healthy tips that have made such a difference for me. Some of these apps will even prompt reflection or meditation moments that help reduce stress.
With what seemed in the beginning to be such a simple approach to becoming healthier, I have a gained great deal more energy, I feel better and I know I’m doing something good for my body.
Deb Roybal, MSN, PhD
Regional Vice President, Mission Integration
and Sponsorship, SCL Health