February is all about love. It’s also about the heart … American Heart Month, to be exact. The best way you can look after your heart is with a healthy lifestyle. Here are some ways you can start to show your heart some love and improve your health.
1) Nutrition for your hungry heart
Keep your heart beating like a smooth operator by fueling up on nutritious whole foods. Your body needs vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, fiber, and nutrients to keep you feeling great.
Here is what you should reach for when hunger strikes:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy
- Skinless poultry and fish
- Lean red meat
- Nuts and legumes
- Non-tropical vegetable oils
Try to steer clear of:
- Trans-fat and saturated fat
- Sugar-sweetened beverages
And enjoy the following in moderation:
- Alcohol (Rule of thumb: 1 drink for women, 1-2 for men)
2) Relax to the max
Stress is a normal part of life. However, studies show that chronic stress can increase your risk of heart disease. Not to worry. You can learn how to manage stress.
To reduce your stress, try to:
- Identify areas in your life that are weighing on you and create a realistic plan for working toward a solution
- Take time out of each day to relax or watch a funny clip and laugh
- Seek out the support of family and friends
- Practice a deep breathing relaxation exercise daily for at least 5 minutes (best to do before or after a stressful event)
3) Make your move
Your heart likes it when you are active! The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity. If working out is new to you, start small and build over time. Try walking 10 minutes a day and increase by 5 minutes each week until you’re walking five times a week for 30 minutes.
Here is a mini circuit to try that will get your heart pumping!
- 15 jumping jacks
- 15 chair squats
- March or jog in place for 15 seconds
- 15 wall push-ups
- 15 stair step-ups
- Repeat three times!
Ready to focus on your health? We’d love to partner with you on your wellness journey. Meet your coach today.