Thursday, 21 March 2013

Encourage A Mom #EncourageAMom

This post is part of's and Becel's "Encourage A Mom" program. In its role as a founding member of The Heart and Stroke Foundation's The Heart Truth™ campaign, Becel wants to empower moms and encourage them to prioritize their own health and well-being as much as they do others. I received compensation for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.

Heart health is very important to me. My family suffers from a genetic heart condition, which if left untreated, can be fatal. The onset for this condition is usually around the mid-thirties and can be very serious. I have been tested for this genetic condition at ages 20, 27 and 37 and so far...I have been lucky. However, I am very aware of the of how others in my family have been affected, and I try to make sure that I take care of my health by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, taking multi-vitamins, managing stress levels, and going to bed by 10:30 pm every night to get 8 hours of sleep. I don't smoke and I only have the occasional drink. And although these healthy habits don't predict whether I will succumb to my family's genetic condition, I am doing what I can do to prevent heart disease brought on by poor lifestyle choices.

Did you know:

  • 9 in 10 women have at least one significant risk factor for heart disease or stroke, a leading cause of death for women in Canada? Just as many women think they are healthy.
  • Too many kids lose their mothers to heart disease and stroke, a leading cause of death for women in Canada.
This is shocking news!  I know that we all know of a woman who has died too young of a stroke or heart attack and left behind children, husbands, partners and other loved ones whose lives were forever changed. But by taking the time to care for yourself through healthy lifestyle choices, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by as much as 80%.

Would you like to know some other shocking facts? According to a Becel commissioned survey:
  • 70% of Canadian mothers surveyed don't rank themselves among their top 3 priorities.
  • 60% of Canadian mothers surveyed say they don't have enough time to take care of themselves.
Darn it people! We've got it all wrong! If we don't take care of ourselves, then what's it all for? I know as moms, we are often so caught up in taking care of our families and volunteering that we have very little time for ourselves.  And often the things we put off or get pushed to the bottom of 'the list' are those things that involve taking care of ourselves. I am just as guilty as anyone! Although I try hard with healthy habits, I am very bad at taking care of my own health checkups.  But yet, if my kids are sick for more than a day....I am the first one running off to take them to the doctor 'just in case'.  I find time to run forgotten notebooks to school in the middle of the day, or to blog {haha) but when it comes to my health check-ups, I fail miserably. So I need to change things and here's what I am going to do:

I want to you to join me in some SPRING CLEANING! Spring cleaning is usually a thorough cleaning of a house to get ready for spring.  I want you to give yourself permission to do some spring cleaning for YOU! YES! I said SPRING CLEANING for YOUR HEALTH!  How can you 'spring clean' yourself? Stop neglecting yourself and put yourself first! It's totally okay!  I want you to go through this list and make sure you do the MOM'S  HEALTH SPRING CLEANING CHECKLIST!  Part of health and stroke prevention is knowing where you are at risk! Regular checkups are part of this plan. I INVITE you to join me in this by:

Mom's Health Spring Cleaning Checklist:
  • Make an appointment for a full physical. When was the last time you had one? Make an appointment to see your doctor today.
  • Plan healthy lunches for yourself. You plan healthy things for everyone else, now please do the same for you! Get in  those fruits and veggies for heart health.
  • Get exercise. Get out in the fresh spring air. If you have been neglecting exercise {guilty as charged}, now is the perfect time to add a short brisk walk to your routine.
  • Watch this amazing ENCOURAGE A MOM VIDEO. It's a short video that  will inspire you to take care of yourself! Sometimes the things that we put first are not what our kids need. The most important thing our kids need is for us to be around for years to come. So please, go watch this video and share it with a friend! You can also personalize it to send to a friend that you know needs some help & encouragement in taking care of herself AND her health.
  • Plan a date for some time for yourself. Plan a lunch with a few girlfriends, or go for a long walk or bike ride. Connecting with girlfriends is so important for mental health. If you have little ones,  trade some weekly babysitting with a girlfriend for some time for a kid-free activity.
So please, ladies, let's get this conversation going! Let's round up all of our girlfriends and encourage everyone to do some SPRING CLEANING for themselves. Get those checkups! Make healthy lunches! Get outside and get moving! I don't know about you, but I feel 44 is the new 34, and I plan to be around for a long time so I can enjoy fun family activities with my kids like this one {below} for a long time!
Becel made this amazing video to empower moms and encourage them to prioritize their own health and well-being as much as they do for others.

You can go to the Becel website to easily personalize and send this video to moms in your life to remind them to take care of themselves too!

Encourage A Mom today! #EncourageAMom

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