football player heart health

It's no secret that Nate played football throughout college.

Girls used to use the “football line” to hit on him all the time back in school. “Like, oh my God wooooow, look at those muscles. Do you play football?” It's one of the first questions everyone asks when they first meet him, intimidated by his domineering stature and not sure what else to do but offer up bizarre commentary on the subject. People even question our gigantic toddler when I'm at the grocery store running errands. “Dude, that kid is HUGE! His dad must be a linebacker or something, huh?” Yup. Inquiring minds always want to know why Nate didn't go pro. “Imagine the NFL money. You guys could be millionaires!

The truth is, I thank God every day that Nate didn't continue to play football past college. Sure, it's glamorous, but it's not where his passion really laid and it honestly puts a huge strain on most players' family lives.

More than that, though, it puts a strain on their health.

A Football Player's Heart

Big, buff linemen are encouraged to eat a LOT to beef up and take down the competition. In the end, their hearts and joints suffer long-term consequences. That excess weight, even when carried for a short time, can lead to metabolic syndrome, heart attack or stroke. Years of being groomed to eat as much as possible as often as possible causes a lifetime of unhealthy decisions that usually ends in type 2 diabetes, vascular disease and obesity. No amount of physical activity can combat the impact of that much cholesterol, that much food intake. These superstars are fit, but they're still fat. Statistics show that professional football players are twice as likely as other athletes to die before the age of 50.

Real glamorous, right?

studly

This is where Nate comes from, and it scares me. Dont get me wrong: I think he's a total stud. I have a very definite type and Nate fits it to a T. Muscley and manly and BIG. But that body type coupled with his high-stress job…it's just not worth it for me to be constantly terrified of losing my husband to heart disease.

Turning it around: A Healthier Lifestyle

It's because of these realities (and a whole host of other stuff I'll go into later) that we're making some pretty big changes to our lifestyle. I've started preparing a lot of paleo meals that are gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free. Nate's not willing to go THAT far and even I'll admit to sneaking my favorite snacks now and again, but I'm trying to limit his grains to heart-healthy ones like oats.

like wow

Quaker’s February Heart Health Month Initiatives

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If you're interested in living a more heart-healthy lifestyle, check out Quaker's heart health month initiatives! Chef Fabio Viviano talks below about why both men and women should start their day with heart-healthy foods.

Visit Quaker on the WebFacebook or Google+ to learn more about Quaker’s American Heart Month initiatives. A grand prize winner will be chosen at random to get away for a few days, enjoy a spa treatment, and dine at Siena Tavern in Chicago from among the participants who watch their YouTube video and share it on Twitter using hashtag #QuakerLove between February 14 and 28. And catch up with them on Twitter during their Twitter Party using hashtag #QuakerHearts (RSVP here!) on Tuesday 2/19 from 8-9 PM EST.

This post is sponsored by Quaker. All opinions are my own.