Making Changes to have a Heart Healthy Family

With January behind us, the month of healthy eating resolutions and new gym memberships, what’s your February look like? Are you still keeping those promises to yourself? Many of us have dropped the promises, few have dropped the pounds, but there’s something special about February.

February is Heart Month and while most think of the generic heart shape that we associate with “love” and Valentines Day, I’m talking about that most important blood pumping muscle in your chest. The American Heart Association promotes Heart Month to spread awareness of heart disease and stroke, the 1st and 5th leading cause of death in the United States. But what does this mean to you and your family if you’re not affected by heart disease and stroke?… EVERYTHING! You can help prevent these by choosing a Heart Healthy Lifestyle for the whole family! Here are 3 simple tips that have helped my own family feel better, look better and become more conscious of our health.

1. Weekly Dinner Menu – Healthier Options and Less Eating Out
A weekly menu will help you organize and plan healthier dinners for the whole week that work with your family’s schedule. This will also help you not eat out as much because you have planned and prepped what to eat each night, saving you calories and money.

• On Sunday make a list for dinner for each night. Doesn’t have to be fancy, just a write it down! I often go to Pinterest and or the American Heart Association for healthy dinner recipes.
• Make your dinner plans according to the week. For instance, if the kids have karate or dance, make those nights for your pre-made meals like homemade meatballs, crockpot suppers or fajitas using pre-grilled chicken that you can grill on Sunday.
• Make your grocery list with all the items needed to prep your dinners for the week and try to get them prepped and ready for the week.

2. Gym Day – Family Activity=Winning
We, as a family, go to the gym every Saturday morning. No excuses, we go together, rain or shine, it helps keep my husband and me accountable! We also want the kids to see our commitment to exercise and if we show them it’s important to us, they will get the idea that it’s important to them as well. American Heart Association suggests 60 minutes of activity per day.

If you don’t have a gym membership, the park or playground can be just as useful. To be heart healthy you have to get moving and showing your children just how important it is to you, will make a huge impact on their lives!

3. Cut Out Sugary Drinks – Spoons Full of Sugar Makes the Pounds Go Up
This can be a little change that makes a huge impact as you strive for a heart healthy style. There are many extra calories, carbs, and sugar in sodas, juices and premade sweet teas. For instance, one can of coke has 40 packets of sugar in it! And many kid’s juice boxes can have 15 grams of sugar are higher. Try switching to water, unsweet tea, or sparkling water.

These changes were made in our home because my husband started working with the American Heart Association 3 years ago. We are more educated about food and exercise as well as our kids! These changes can be quick, easy and you can have results that will make you feel great. Most importantly, your heart will thank you!

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Sherri Owens
A Southern Belle with a Jersey attitude, Sherri was northern born and southern grown! She’s a SAHM, business owner and graphic designer, but most importantly a mommy of two tiny humans, (8 and 6) and mini long haired Dachshund. Sherri is a Flagler College grad who snuck away to FSU in 2006 and met her future husband, they’ve been together ever since! Her family has lived in beautiful Destin, FL, Jacksonville, FL and recently moved to Alpharetta, GA. She was a contributor for the Jacksonville Moms Blog and is looking forward to writing again for City Moms Blog in her new home. Baking, painting, the outdoors and pageants are a few of her favorite things. Obsessed with Christmas (all year long), you can find Sherri designing in her home office with coffee in her snowman mug and Nat King Cole playing in the background.


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