Love is certainly in the air this time of year, and rightfully so with Valentine’s Day on the horizon. However, did you know that February is also heart month? That’s right, it’s time to look after those tickers and bring attention to the importance of the cardiovascular system as a whole. Here some tips of how you can look after your heart so it’ll keep beating for many years to come.
Get Moving: Your heart is a muscle and exercise and physical activity is what can help to strengthen it. Aim for 30-minutes of moderate-vigorous activity every day. Break up long sitting periods with a quick walk, standing exercise, or simply moving up and down to get the blood flowing.
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Eat Nutritious Foods: For heart health, try foods that contain “healthy fats” (omega-3s) which help to fuel our days and support our cardiovascular system. Read your nutrition labels and try to cut-down on “saturated fats”. Instead try cooking fish, making avocado toast, or snacking on nuts. Remember that dark chocolate is also known for its great source of antioxidants and can be great for heart health (in moderation of course).
Take Time to Relax: Natural responses to stressors can cause an increase in our heart rate and blood pressure. Take a step back, find time for yourself every day to manage your stress and relax. It could be through mindful meditation, drinking a cup of tea or coffee, or watching your favourite show.
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep: Sleep is an essential for keeping the heart healthy. Ensure you are getting enough sleep, aim for approximately 6-8 hours every night. Set a regular bedtime and wake-up time and try not to press snooze. Try reading before bed, turning off electronic devices, drinking a glass of water, or meditating.
Check in With Your Physician: Schedule a regular check-up with your doctor or health-care professional to monitor your overall blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It’s never too early (or too late) to start!
We’re always here to help you Move Well, Be Well. Let’s remember to look after ourselves, our hearts, and those around us. Spreading all kinds of love!
Written by Claire Peachey B.H.K