Love your mom? Take her for a walk this Mother’s Day

A local doctor says Mother’s Day is a great time to show love for mom by focusing on the heart. Literally. Here’s why.

Cardiologist Dr. Tania Chao with Kaiser Permanente’s mid-Atlantic division says that, with so much emphasis on other women’s health issues, heart disease often flies under the radar.

“It is the leading cause of death for women and men,” Dr. Chao said.

In 2020, heart disease was responsible for the deaths of 314,186 women in the United States, or roughly 1 in every 5 female deaths. Dr. Chao also said awareness of heart disease risks among women has plummeted in recent years.

“Often in women, it’s underdiagnosed and under-treated,” she told WTOP.

But she also says there’s good news concerning some of the causes for heart disease.

“These are lifestyle factors that you have a lot of control over,” said Chao. “I view this as empowering. If people know their risk factors, they can work to improve their cardiovascular health.”

Heart health experts recommend 30 minutes of exercise for five days a week, but Chao says “Even if you can’t get those 150 minutes a week in, increasing what you do is helpful. So getting your steps in is helpful.”

And what better day than Mother’s Day to start off on the right foot!

“Mother’s Day is a great day to focus on activities that are healthy for our hearts,” Chao remarked. “You can take a walk or a bike ride, going hiking, cooking a healthy meal together. Things like that to show our moms how much we appreciate them.”

Dr. Chao says other things you can do is to avoid smoking, eat healthy, stay active and get more sleep.

Most importantly though, keep the heart happy and make sure to call mom!

Matt Kaufax

If there's an off-the-beaten-path type of attraction, person, or phenomenon in the DC area that you think more people should know about, Matt is your guy. As the features reporter for WTOP, he's always on the hunt for stories that provide a unique local flavor—a slice of life if you will.

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