February 4 is GO RED Day – A special day to promote awareness of the importance of good heart health for women.

Some statistics*on women’s heart health

  • Only 13% of women view heart disease as a health threat, even though it’s women’s No. 1 killer.
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD) kills over 480,000 women a year, about one per minute.
  • One in three adult females and males in the United States suffers from a form of CVD.
  • CVD claims more lives than the next four most common causes of death combined.
  • On average, an American dies of CVD every 35 seconds.
  • Coronary heart disease is the No. 1 single killer of women over age 25.
  • 64% of women who died suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms.
  • One in 2.6 female deaths are from CVD, compared with one in 30 from breast cancer.
  • Heart disease rates in post-menopausal women are two to three times higher than in pre-menopausal women of the same age.
  • Stroke is the #3 cause of death for American women, and is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability.
  • Stroke kills more women than men. In 2003, females represented 61% of stroke deaths.

 Today is my personal pledge day

  • I pledge to eat 3+ servings of vegetables every day.
  • I pledge to eat at least 2 servings of fruit every day.
  • I pledge to keep my food diary updated daily for 60 days.
  • I pledge to add calisthenics to my morning routine at least four times a week.
  • I pledge to find the time to swim 10+ laps at least 2X weekly.
  • I pledge to lose 10% of my current body weight by April 1.

Do you have a pledge to promote a heart healthy lifestyle?

What have I done ……………………………

©2011 Susan Kendall.  All rights reserved



I think I can…I think I can…

After a meeting this morning, I came home and sat down with this really good book, Big Girls Don’t Cry, by Rebecca Traister. My favorite sofa spot was feeling particularly comfy, the cat was on his way in to lie beside me and I settled in to enjoy a really good read.

There was a vague unease in the back of my head. Visions of swimsuit body filled me with dread.  Okay, okay, I said out loud. No more excuses. Off to swim laps I went. Wait, there is not a lock for the locker and a beach towel was nowhere to be found.  

Beach towels are apparently not a hot commodity at Wal-Mart in January. There were toddler hooded swim cover-ups, on sale….not the right size for granddaughter Haylee and not the right style for grandson Sam. Where do they keep the padlocks? Not with the tools, bicycle or workout paraphernalia. They are in the aisle just down from the Rubbermaid and plastic tubs. Don’t ask.

After checking to make sure the combination numbers were on the back of the lock and started towards the cash registers. Wait. Did I really believe the combination would stay in my head long enough to get the lock open after the swim. Turn back. Grab the one with the keys. What to do with the key while swimming. Sigh. Large safety pins will work. Off to the sewing section.

Checking out and thinking to myself ….I want to hike up to the glacier. Walking to the van and thinking to myself….how will I get this shoplifter proof plastic off the lock? Standing beside the van, stabbing the plastic with my keys and thinking to myself….scissors in the glove compartment would be nice. Circling the parking lot at the athletic center and thinking to myself….I want to hike up to the glacier.

Finally, I stuff my bag and jacket into my locker, find the lap pool and ease myself into the water. The membership person was correct, the water temperature is reasonable. Pushing off from the side of the pool and getting into the rhythm of the stroke, the memory of how much I really like to do this comes back to me.

Leaving the center, my 10 laps (20 lengths!) completed, thinking to myself……I will be hiking up to the glacier………

Disclaimer: Youth 17 and under are referred to with pseudonyms

©2011 Susan Kendall.  All rights reserved


It is that time of year again……

Once again, I have succumbed to the allure of making myself over into a healthy, physically fit human being so I might look reasonably acceptable in warm weather clothing sometime in May. 

This year I am doing something I used to avoid. Swimming has always been my exercise of choice. Swimming in January has never been my choice. I know, I know, it is inside a building. Doesn’t  matter. When I swam laps regularly I would quit in November and start up again in March.

The young man who gave me the tour today at our local park district athletic center told me the water in the lap pool was a warm 80+ degrees. He cannot fool an old lap swimmer. When you leave the building and the 0 degree wind whips around your body, it does not matter what the temperature of the pool was…

So I have a pair of fleece sweats and a hooded sweatshirt to put on after my shower and soft faux furry boots to pull on my feet. I will bundle up and brave a northern Illinois January to help develop  the stamina, endurance and strength I need to keep up with my grandchildren on our trip this summer.

……….I want to hike to the glacier… I want to hike to the glacier…… I want to hike to the glacier…I want to hike to the glacier………

“Exercise is done against one’s wishes and maintained only because the alternative is worse.” George Sheehan

©2011 Susan Kendall.  All rights reserved.