Not only is it the beginning of a new year, but February is also National Heart Health Month. What better time to get your heart in tip-top shape? Here are some simple tips you can start incorporating into your daily life today.
You can eat delicious foods and also make heart-healthy choices. Healthy doesn’t have to mean boring.
Leafy Vegetables: Vegetables like spinach and kale are excellent sources of vitamins and antioxidants. They are loaded with Vitamin K, a great combatant against clogged arteries.
Recipe Idea: Cook spinach in a pan with olive oil and garlic until wilted.
Avocados: Avocados are an excellent source of heart-healthy fats, which reduce the risks of heart disease.
Recipe Idea: Place fresh slices of avocado on a slice of whole-wheat toast for breakfast.
Whole Grains: Whole grains are high in fiber and may help reduce cholesterol.
Recipe Idea: Swap out white rice with brown rice at your next meal.
Beans: Beans may aid in reducing cholesterol.
Recipe Idea: The next time you make soup, add in your favorite kind of beans.
The Berry Family: In addition to being delicious, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are rich in antioxidants that help eliminate the oxidative stress that leads to heart disease.
Recipe Idea: Toss your favorite berries into a bed of spinach and top with a balsamic vinaigrette for a delicious side salad.
Olive Oil: Olive oil is a healthy fat and has many antioxidants.
Recipe Idea: Start cooking all of your meals with olive oil! The next time you make pasta, be sure to drizzle olive oil on top.
Stress is not good for the mind or body. It can cause high blood pressure and put stress on the heart. Be sure to take time for yourself to decompress. Participate in activities that relax you, exercise and maintain a balanced diet to care for yourself best. Often times, exercise is a great stress reducer and heart booster. Even something as simple as a daily walk can make a big difference.
Don’t forget to stick to your doctor’s appointments. Keeping informed on your body’s health will help you to know where you stand in your health and if any adjustments need to be made. Seek out an accountability partner if you struggle with keeping to your health goals.
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Adults should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Repeated sleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and hypertension. Go to bed at the same time each night and limit screen time an hour before bed to help your body learn to fall asleep quickly
Prevention is a Mindset
The first step to improving heart health is to take preventative steps. By taking care of your heart, you're taking care of your entire body. The best way to really improve your heart health is to have a heart-healthy mindset. Think about the activities you do and the foods you put into your body. These are all contributing factors to the health of your heart. When making choices, think about what’s going to make you feel the best and give you energy.
Keeping your heart healthy is vital to your overall health and sets you up for a long, healthy life! If you have more questions about your heart health, don’t hesitate to reach out to Advanced Respiratory Care Network today.