Cupid will be a mighty busy guy this weekend, running around making sure he shoots everyone in sight with a heart arrow. It’s his job to make sure that every valentine receives the gift that was meant for him/her. It was then that I thought, what if you’re your own Valentine this year? Loving yourself, and treating yourself doesn’t require tons of gifts, roses or chocolates. In honor of February being American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day falling in the same month, here are 10 Ways to Help You Maintain a Healthy Heart:
Try to exercise daily. Challenge yourself to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. If you do 30 minutes each day, 5 days a week, this should be easy. Fit in a workout anywhere you can. Try wearing a Garmin Forerunner 210 GPS Heart Rate Monitor (Black) with Premium Strap, and track your results.
Make fish a part of your diet. Including this high protein which is high in omega 3 fatty acids. Mackerel, tuna, and salmon are an excellent source of this, which helps protect against heart disease.
If you’re feeling a bit tense or under pressure, go and take a walk. Walking allows you to clear your mind and collect your thoughts, which in turn can reduce tension. When you get the urge to take that walk, grab your Pedusa PE-771 Tri-Axis Multi-Function Pocket Pedometer and Clip, and see exactly how you helped yourself while on the go.
Cholesterol is found only in animal products, such as meat, poultry, dairy products and eggs. Lean and low-fat foods can still be high in cholesterol. Check Nutrition Facts on the labels to keep track of the cholesterol in your food and consume no more than 300 mg daily.
Staying stress free is easier said than done. However, avoiding stress when possible is crucial. How you handle stress may directly affect your heart. Too much stress can lead to medical issues such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you’re constantly feeling stressed or overwhelmed, talk to a health care specialist about better ways of dealing with these issues. I would also recommend keeping an Omron BP742N 5 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor in the home, allowing you to closely monitor your blood pressure.
Drink More Water
We can never stress how important it is to stay hydrated. Take a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. To make it easier, I’d purchase a Camelbak Eddy .75l BPA Free Bottle. It’s spill-proof, so it’s a handy bottle to take on walks, hiking or to the gym.
Make it your business to eat healthier. Revamp your refrigerator, placing all healthy items to the front, and removing anything that may stop you from changing your healthy eating habits.
Eat More Fiber
Include fiber in your diet. Oats, whole-grain rice, beans, and potatoes are excellent sources of fiber. Be careful when choosing processed foods, as many of them have large amounts of sugar. As always, be sure to drink plenty of water, as it will prevent constipation.
Poor sleeping patterns can result in heart disease, just as having heart disease can interfere with sleep. Products such as caffeine and nicotine can heighten these risks. According to the Harvard Medical School, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help you improve your sleep habits.
Cut Back on Salt
Consuming too much salt can cause high blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension increases your risk of developing coronary heart disease. Try avoiding items that are too salty such as chips, pizzas, salted nuts, canned vegetables and soups. One thing you can do to help you curb your intake of sodium, would be to check the ingredient levels of your packaged food, before adding them to your shopping basket.
Now that you have the necessary information to maintain a healthy heart, go make cupid jealous. After all, Cupid’s arrows are supposed to bring you the gift of love. By eating healthy and exercising daily, you gift yourself a longer, healthier life.