February is a month dedicated to the heart. Not only do we celebrate Valentine’s Day, but it’s also National Heart Health Month!
Here are some easy tips and habits you should be adding to your daily routine to keep your heart beating happily and healthily.
This may seem like a big step, but it doesn’t have to be! You don?t have to sign up for a marathon next month (though we totally encourage you to strive for that as an end goal). Staying active can be as easy as taking the steps from now on, or standing up from your desk and taking a walk. You can start small and work your way up to a marathon.
Aim for a Healthy Weight
Carrying extra pounds puts unnecessary strain on the heart. If you’re overweight, losing just 5% to 10% of your starting weight can make a big difference in your blood pressure and blood sugar.
Add more healthy foods to your diet. Again, you can start slow and don’t have to revamp your entire diet in a day. Adding more fruits and vegetables, and cutting back on fried foods and sodium is a great place to start.
Eliminate Bad Habits
It’s time to start cutting back on alcohol consumption and eliminating tobacco from your life altogether. Limit your alcoholic beverages to 1-2 drinks a day. As for smoking, it’s just as bad for the heart and arteries as it is for the lungs. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. Secondhand smoke is also toxic, so avoid it whenever possible.
Starting small and having specific, achievable goals is a key strategy for successful change. Goals that involve behaviors (“I will add a fruit and vegetable to each of my meals this week”) tend to work better than physiological goals (“I will 5 pounds”).
Let us help you feel what’s it is like to be well.