I can’t believe this was already a week ago! I’ve said it countless times before, but events like this are what really make blogging such a special thing. This is something I never would have done otherwise (even if it happened locally), so having the chance to go to Moncton to help support the Shopper’s Drug Mart LOVE.YOU. weekend was such a huge pleasure.
Even the drive to and from Moncton (which was 4 hours for me) was fun. A car load of blogger friends made the drive just as fun for me as the event (and I was the one driving, so that’s saying something!).
It was a whirlwind once we arrived though! From the Beauty Gala where we had our make-up done, to supper out, the NB Heart Truth Red Dress Fashion Show, to the concert by Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies, followed by a 5K the next day! The easiest way to show it to you is in photos.
I was SnapChatting the whole weekend, but since I know many of you aren’t on SnapChat, I downloaded my stories from those two days and made them into a vlog style video! On snapchat you can share both photos and video, so just know that some of the clips are in fact photos – your computer/phone isn’t playing tricks on you 🙂
And while getting all fancy and dressing up, watching a fashion show and concert and participating in a 5K is fun all on it’s own, the meaning behind the weekend was what really made it so very special.
Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in Canada for women, so the real story behind this weekend was looking at health risk and what changes we can make to make our lives healthier. There were dieticians at the NB Heart Truth event for people to talk to, and the stories behind the Red Dress Models was both heart breaking and up-lifting. From Dianne Jones who is an active runner and badminton player who went into sudden cardiac arrest who was saved through the use of CPR and an AED machine, to Sofia Bossenberry, the 8 year old with Cardiac Fibroma. The stories of courage and perseverance was nothing short of humbling. As someone with a host of various health problems, I still count myself lucky that my issues are as non-serious as they are. What I walked away from the evening – and weekend – feeling, was a renewed sense of purpose in just how important my role as a fitness and nutrition professional is to help women (and men) make small changes that lead to huge health impacts.
Women especially can so easily get caught up in caring for others, at home and at work, that we don’t care as good care of ourselves. I am just as guilty, and in some cases even more so, than most for doing this. Taking on more classes and coaching than I should because I want to help people and put their wellbeing in front of my own. This is something I have been really trying to work on, more so in the past 6-8 months than previously.
Taking care of yourself doesn’t just mean eating healthy heart-healthy foods and moving(though that is a big part of it), it also means managing stress levels (both physical and mental).
Some things you should do/monitor to reduce your risk of heart disease include*:
- Eating Healthy: Eat a diet low in bad fats, reducing salt intake, eating more fruits and vegetables and limit alcohol consumption.
- Physical Activity: Staying physically active helps you reach and maintain a healthy weight, helps to keep your blood pressure & cholesterol under control, improves your body’s ability to control blood sugar, and provides a healthy way for your body to relieve stress.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking lowers the oxygen levels in your blood and speed your heartbeat, forcing your heart to work harder. It raises your blood pressure, and increases your risk of blood clots. And smoking increases the buildup of fatty plaque on the walls of your arteries, which clogs the arteries and increases your risk of heart disease.
- Blood Pressure: High blood pressure damages the walls of the blood vessels. Once damaged, they are more likely to become clogged with fatty deposits called plaque, which narrow and harden the blood vessels. It also puts more strain on the heart, since it’s harder to pump blood when blood pressure is high.
- Cholesterol: High cholesterol affects about 40% of Canadians, but many have no symptoms so you may have high cholesterol and not even know it. High cholesterol can build up on the walls of your arteries, which over time can cause them to narrow and become less flexible. This makes it harder for blood to flow through. Sometimes a blood clot can build up in the narrowed artery and move to the heart, causing a heart attack.
- Blood Glucose: High levels of glucose in the blood can damage your arteries. This makes you more prone to buildups of fatty plaque. Having diabetes increases the chances of high blood pressure, which is another heart disease risk factor.
*all information shared from the Shopper’s Drug Mart “Ready to take your health to heart” pamphlet
Big thanks again to Shopper’s Drug Mart for having us, it really was an amazing weekend I will never forget. And a big thanks to my awesome road trip buddies: