Get heart-healthy with #YPumpItUp
January 29, 2016
February is American Heart Month. As a leader in improving the nation’s health, the YMCA urges everyone in the Chicagoland community to take steps to ensure they are heart-healthy so they can lead longer, stronger lives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the nation’s number one killer, responsible for 1 in 4 deaths each year in the U.S. The Y offers programs that promote healthy living and chronic disease prevention by supporting people in changing their lifestyles, encouraging organizations and communities to adopt healthy practices and habits, and advancing public health through advocacy.
In celebration of American Heart Month, we’re making it easier for you to get your heart pumping and your health jumping. Join your YMCA of Metro Chicago center for our #YPumpItUP Fitness Marathon! This event is free and open to the public. Try our group fitness programs, such as TRX, Les Mills BODYPUMP™ and GRIT™ and more!
Hey members! The Y is offering you a few chances to win a FREE month of membership to help keep your heart health in check throughout the year:
- Wear red and bring a friend to the #YPumpItUp Fitness Marathon and to enter to win a free month of membership—bring multiple friends and increase your chances to win.
- Bring a heart-healthy non-perishable food item and get an extra chance to win a free month of membership. Members whose friends or family join the weekend of the center’s event will receive a free month of membership!
Across the YMCA of Metro Chicago Association we offer an array of programs and events designed to keep adults and children moving and with strong hearts. From sports programs and group fitness classes, to high intensity interval training and small group personal training classes, we have options for individuals of all fitness levels. Y classes like water fitness and strength building are great low-impact options for conditioning your heart and strengthening your whole body. In addition to our #YPumpItUp Fitness Marathon and program offerings, we also offer family friendly events each month to help families stay active together and have fun.
Start February strong with these tips on how to live heart-healthy:
- Get Physical: Being physically active every day is fun and can improve the functioning of your heart. Plan and schedule daily opportunities for active play. For example, include a brisk 10-minute trip around the block after meals or a 10-minute walking break during the day. If your family enjoys active video games, select versions that require moving the body’s large muscle groups while playing.
- Take a Snooze: Lack of sleep has been associated with elevated cholesterol and blood pressure. Adults need at least seven, but no more than nine hours of sleep at night to aid with the prevention of heart disease. Children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night. Develop bedtime routines for the whole family to assist with falling asleep faster and staying asleep.
- Shape Up Those Recipes: Makeover your family’s favorite meals by reducing the amount of salt and saturated fat and substituting a lower fat food without sacrificing taste. For example, use low-fat yogurt instead of sour cream and skip the seasoning packet and use pepper and olive oil instead. Read food labels to learn more about what’s in the package and select foods with less than 1,000 mg of sodium per serving.
- Feel the Pressure: According to the American Heart Association, lowering or maintaining normal blood pressure can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. Nearly 1 in 3 adults (about 78 million people) have high blood pressure and more than half of them don’t have it under control. Start self-monitoring your blood pressure and know the numbers. Discuss the results with you doctor.
- Play Together: Spending time together as a family is a great way to reduce stress, which is important to heart health. Make homemade valentines for your children’s classmates or build a snow fort together in the park. Learn more tips here: 7 Days, 7 Ways Families Can Stay Active and Healthy Together this Winter.