February is my favorite month to reflect on all things heart healthy. Did you know that the CDC reports nearly 1 out of 2 adults live with high blood pressure? That means that either you or someone you love can be at risk for heart disease problems such as stroke, heart failure, and cognitive decline. Living a heart healthy life is about lifestyle. Incorporating these heart healthy practices into your daily life routine is the goal.
Here are 10 of my favorite ways to keep your heart healthy.
1. Quit Smoking- this is a MUST - explore all available options including 1-800-QUIT-NOW to receive free guidance on how to quit for good.
2. Be more active - sit less, move more. If you sit for most of your day look into exercies you can do while seated or make working out before or after your seated workday a priority.
3. Substitute water for sugary drinks and remove alcohol (or decrease the amount of drinks you consume) Alcohol is loaded with sugar and leads to long-term degenerative disease later in life.
4. Monitor Blood Pressure - you can purchase a BP monitor to use at home, or you can sometimes find BP monitors at grocery stores. Keeping an eye on your BP is never a bad idea. If you are working out, look up what range your BP should be in for how long, in order to achieve goals.
5. Check in with your emotions. Spirituality is a heart-healthy outlet that will keep things centered. Religion, meditation, prayer....all help feed the heart.
6. Surround yourself with positive people who lift you up and feed your soul. We all need that one special friend who we can count on to fill up our cup when we aren't feeling so great. The cup fillers are such a gift!!!
7. Music - the soul can really thrive with music. When we feel a little "blah" turning on the tunes of something warm and inspiring can really lift our hearts.
8. Physical touch. Things like hugs, holding hands, even a pat on the back are wonderful for our hearts. If anything a massage always helps to improve circulation and the power of touch can really be moving.
9. Words - expressing words of love to those around us can help make our hearts feel warm. A written letter sent in a mail is always such a beautiful touch. Bucket list for me is buying an old typewriter and writing my notes that way to friends and family. Maybe this year I will finally do that :-)
10. Last but not least and my favorite is EXERCISE. We all need some form of exercise in our lives. I call it my happy pill, as I always get a huge mood boost throughout the day when I workout. I love exercise and how it makes me feel, and when I feel good and happy, not only does my body feel happy but I am nicer to everyone around me.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and I hope you will enjoy some heart-healthy love today!