As well as cupid’s favorite month, February is American Heart Month, and the Santa Clara Woman’s Club has taken this to heart. “Keeping Our Hearts Healthy” was the theme of its Feb. 2 program at the club’s historic Adobe, on The Alameda.
Pink and red paper hearts decorated the large main room, where about 60 club members—many wearing red—were served soup and a salad of ingredients such as dark leafy greens, apples and quinoa. It was a heart-healthy lunch, emphasizing the link between health and eating wisely.
“Don’t let a chocolate chip cookie take charge of your life,” said Woman’s Club member and program presenter Sway Davis. “You take charge of your life.”
The American Heart Association (AHA) states that cardiovascular diseases kill nearly one in three women each year. They are, in fact, the number one killer of women, with fewer women than men surviving their first heart attack. Despite these statistics, fewer than 20 percent of women consider heart diseases to be a great health risk for them.
The good news is that about 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be prevented through education and simple lifestyle changes such as the ones presented by Davis and her friend Meaghan Hicks (arrowfitnesswellness.com). The personal trainers, who are certified in exercise, nutrition and mindful-wellness, shared familiar but all too often ignored information.
“Find a purpose, a reason, to stick with your health plan,” said Davis. “Ask yourself, ‘Why do I want to be healthier? To lose ten pounds? Because I want to be healthier for my family, my community? Why?'”
“Food is literally medicine, so eat to your heart’s content,” said Hicks. “Eat the rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables and keep hydrated.”
“Sugar and cancer are best friends. It feeds inflammation,” she cautioned. “Remember that your gut makes decisions for you not your brain when you’re hungry.”
The bottom line for healthy living was summed up with the mnemonic “NESST”—nutrition, exercise (do it), stress (control it), sleep (get enough) and toxins (avoid them).
Go Red for Women
“Go Red for Women” is the American Heart Association’s February national campaign to raise awareness of the risk of heart disease and strokes for women—and men. They are the leading cause of death not just in the U.S. but throughout the world.
“Today, heart disease claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined, and we still don’t fully understand the role gender plays,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown. “That is unacceptable, and there is no better time than now for women to come together and make a Go Red Commitment to take action for women’s heart health.”
Visit GoRedForWomen.org/Commit to learn more about the campaign, which is sponsored by Macy’s and CVS Health.
MinuteClinic, the retail walk-in medical clinic of CVS Health, offers no cost “Know Your Numbers” heart screenings nationwide every Wednesday in February. The screenings include total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index.
Davis offers free yoga classes, open to the community, Sundays beginning March 11 at the Woman’s Club Adobe. At 11 a.m. is Vinyasa Yoga. At 12:30 p.m. is Wellness Yoga, with the option of chair or mat exercises. Bring your own mat, towel and water. For information, call Davis at 408-753-7883 or visit www.soturifitness.com and www.facebook.com/SoturiFitness/.