Be The BeatDJ Amrit Tietz talks about the importance of heart health and how it’s something to be thankful for and mindful of.
“It’s the universal language that transcends any kind of geographic, language or cultural barrier,” says Amrit Tietz. The DJ, podcast host, and mother-to-be is talking, of course, about music and its ability to strengthen the connection within ourselves and between others. Tietz has spent a fair share of time behind the DJ booth, with 15 years of entertaining crowds under her belt, not to mention the 100K followers on her Instagram feed. And this month, she takes on a new role: the face of a limited-edition heart capsule of three cashmere pieces—from a scarf to a crewneck—created by White + Warren in support of the American Heart Association. We caught up with Tietz to hear about how she uses music to maintain heart-healthy habits, her personal connection to heart disease, and favorite songs to get the heart pumping.
What has been your experience with heart disease? Could you tell us more about the experience and how it affected you?
My sister had to have open heart surgery when she was little. It wasn’t something I could really understand at the time because I was so young too. We all stayed at the Ronald McDonald Charity House while she had her operation and we met so many other young families who were going through similar situations at the time. She was lucky and her surgery was a success, but that isn’t always the case and it’s something I’ll never take for granted.
How has your personal connection to heart disease influenced the way that you approach your own health and/or lifestyle?
It’s made me more conscious and appreciative for good health and maintaining it. Heart disease is the leading cause of death here in the US and impacts so many people in different ways—for those of us lucky enough to be heart-happy and healthy it’s something to be thankful for and mindful of.
This year, AHA is asking everyone to “Be The Beat.” The emphasis is prioritizing heart-healthy habits–it could be around sleep, meditation, exercise, nutrition, or whatever works best for you. What are some examples of heart-healthy habits that you already have?
I try to do everything in moderation, whether that’s keeping a balanced diet and being mindful of high cholesterol foods, or keeping active daily in some way. It doesn’t always need to be a workout or the gym. It [can be] going for a brisk walk around my neighborhood with my pup, or doing a quick stretching or yoga tutorial in the morning after meditating.
Outside of DJing, how do you use music personally to reduce your own stress, or simply to get moving?
Music, especially upbeat or infectious feel-good music, is contagious. It‘s so powerful that it can change the energy of my mood or a room instantly. If I have a good playlist to zone out to, time will stand still. I can get lost in a run or workout or meditation easily.
Do you have any genres of music or artists that are your go-to’s?
I love ’80s and dance music for a good workout moment. Timeless classics never fail to get me in a good rhythm.
What would be your top 5 songs for amping up your cardiovascular fitness?
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston
“Teardrops” by Womack & Womack
“Into The Groove” by Madonna
“Genius of Love” by Tom Tom Club
“Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League
Speaking of cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular complications and conditions pose a significant threat to women’s heart health in pregnancy and after giving birth. As someone who is expecting, how are you making heart health and your overall wellness a priority?
Labor is life’s no. 1 marathon! I’ve been preparing for it my entire pregnancy [with] consistent physical activity and a well-balanced diet—especially as everything I eat the baby does too. I’m currently on an 80% clean eating program, which prioritizes fresh and unprocessed foods. I’ve found it’s been helpful with balancing my hormones, minimizing inflammation and swelling. The other 20% is for when I have those unstoppable cravings. Everything in moderation!