In honor of heart health awareness month, here are some tips on keeping a happy, healthy heart. The heart is the hardest-working muscle in the body, beating 100,000 times per day! In order to maintain a healthy heart, it requires a combination or good diet, physical activity, stress management and positive life choices.
Staying active provides your heart with essential exercise, keeping it strong and healthy! There are endless benefits to regular exercise.
- Improve blood circulations and lower blood pressure
- Increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol
- Reduce body weight
- Increase muscle strength
- Improve mood and distress
Research shows these benefits can occur with 30-60 minutes of exercise three times per week.1
It is important to feed your heart with a quality and nutritious diet. Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid processed foods and consume foods in their most whole and raw state. Eating a well-balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for your heart.
Although, there are particular foods that are packed with extra nutrition that your heart desires
- Salmon and other fatty fish are a great source omega 3 fatty acids
- Oatmeal provides a sources of fiber that can lower cholesterol
- Berries are filled with antioxidants and can decrease blood pressure
- Dark chocolate (60% or more cacao) can reduce inflammation on the heart
- Nuts are full of fiber and contain essential fatty acids
The stresses of life can cause direct harm to our heart. A simple and natural way to fight stress is doing things throughout the day that bring happiness.
- Work on a creative project
- Read your favorite book
- Take a walk
- Have lunch with your friends
- Listen to music
At the end of the day, take 10-15 minutes of alone time to relax. Sit in your favorite chair or picture yourself in a beautiful and peaceful place. Just a few subtle changes can improve moods and heart health.2
- Exercise and Cardiovascular Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/107/1/e2.full
- Four Ways to Deal with Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/StressManagement/FourWaystoDealWithStress/Four-Ways-to-Deal-with-Stress_UCM_307996_Article.jsp