Go Red for Women celebrated its 10th anniversary this past February. The American Heart Association–affiliated program asks all women to “Go Red” by wearing red, living a healthy lifestyle and “speaking red” by spreading the message that heart disease is killing our mothers, daughters, sisters and friends. In fact, it is the No. 1 killer of women.
One of the Go Red programs started in conjunction with Franciscan Health Systems is called BetterU. This three-month plan helps participants look at ways to be more heart-healthy, including what they are eating and how they are moving and exercising. Participants are given a Fitbit, which monitors the number of steps taken daily and makes wearers mindful of medication, nutrition and their daily exercise goals.
We asked BetterU participant Jennifer Haury about her experience, she said, “I feel better, healthier and prouder of the choices I am making as a mom. I would never go back to eating the way I did. I notice significant change in my energy level, stamina and overall general health.”
Marisa Gillaspie Aziz, a BetterU facilitator, shared what she thinks of the BetterU program: “It’s a different approach. It’s really focused on wellness and health versus weight loss. It’s important to understand why you’re going to be healthier. I cleaned out foods in my house that weren’t following the program. I drink 80 to 120 ounces of water every day. Our goal is to get 10,000 steps a day with our Fitbit pedometers.”
“This is a great program,” says Aziz. “I think people really take their health for granted and this puts our health first. I’m a nurse and I work in the hospital and people don’t care about their health until they don’t have it anymore. This program helps us be proactive.”
Take inventory, challenge yourself and incorporate these 10 tips into your daily life.
For additional information: goredforwomen.org
The following are 10 daily tips for a Better You:
- Identify your big “why.” Find out why you are on the journey to getting healthy.
- Create a safe environment. Have healthy foods in your home.
- Eat breakfast. Eating a whole-food breakfast of scrambled eggs with veggies, fruits, nuts or a healthy smoothie ignites metabolism and curbs cravings throughout the day.
- Drink coffee with your breakfast. Drinking coffee with food signals our body that we are not stressed or in danger and curbs the effects of the release of our stress hormones.
- Drink plenty of water. Aim to drink 60 to 80 ounces of water a day.
- Eat every two to three hours. This helps keep you from being starved and overindulging later.
- Eat mostly plant-based whole foods. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains are nutrient-dense foods that will heal your body and release the weight.
- Eat a salad a day. Add as many healthy items as you can to your salad: veggies, meat and healthy salad dressing. You can purchase healthy salad dressing or make your own.
- Move your body. Aim for 10,000 steps a day. Wearing a pedometer holds you accountable to take the stairs, walk during your lunch break, park your car farther away and so on.
- Aim for progress not perfection. This is the motto of The Healthy Edge, and BetterU participants have adopted it as a daily reminder of the journey they are on.