Happy American Heart Health Month! February is the time to focus on all the ways to boost and maintain cardiovascular health. Your heart is one of your most important organs – it pumps blood around your body, providing it with all the essential nutrients and carrying oxygen to your cells. Keep reading for three great tips to keep your heart healthy and happy!
- Eat healthy
Have you ever heard the saying, “you are what you eat?” Well, that saying is true. Your diet is single-handedly the key to maintaining heart health and can help lower your risk of heart disease. Eat the heart-healthy foods below and cut out the ugly, artery-clogging foods. Then, check out the hearty recipes we’ve included!
Foods to include in your diet:
- Leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, collard greens)
- Nuts (almonds & walnuts)
- Whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, oats, rye)
- Dark chocolate
Foods to avoid in your diet:
- Processed meats
- Potato chips
- Fast food
- Fried food
Try these hearty recipes:
- Exercise regularly
The word “exercise” can sometimes be intimidating to people, but don’t let it scare you! Exercising can be anything from dancing & playing Frisbee to lifting weights & going for runs. The fun part about being active is that there are so many variations of activities to perform, as long as you get your heart beating at a faster pace! To maintain a healthy heart, it's suggested that you get in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week.
Creative workouts to get your heart pumping include:
- Dance for 20 minutes, 3 times a week.
- 20-minute traditional Tabata training, 3 times a week.
- 30-minute daily walk.
- Hike up a mountain.
- Stand-up paddleboarding/kayaking.
- 20-minute yoga, 2-3 times a week.
- Create everyday healthy habits
Believe it or not, if you create daily or weekly healthy habits and stick to them, they'll become engrained in your routine. Taking care of yourself should be your top priority in 2022! The best way to keep your heart healthy is to adopt these healthy habits:
- Monitor your blood pressure weekly.
- Drink a glass of water before bed and a glass when you wake up in the morning.
- Put your phone away one hour before bed.
- Take one day of each week to solely focus on yourself (declutter, unplug, put on a facemask, soak in a warm bath).
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Follow these tips in everyday life, and you’ll be doing your heart a favor. Happy American Heart Health Month, and don’t forget to share your hearty recipes with us on Instagram @downtoearthhi!