There’s no missing the fact that February is the month in which we celebrate Valentine’s Day. But, did you know that February is also American Heart Month? That’s not the month in which we practice making heart shaped cookies, cakes, and brownies. Rather, it’s a time to step back and make sure you are taking care of the one heart you’ve got.
Here are a few heart healthy tips in honor of American Heart Month.
1. Get your omega-3 fatty acids. Your heart loves omega-3 fatty acids. You can get omega-3 fatty acids in a variety of ways. Eating fish is a great way to get it. However, there are quicker, easier, and less expensive ways to get it, too. Flax, walnuts, pistachios, grass-fed beef, and enriched eggs are all great sources of omega 3s.
2. Have a glass of wine. Research suggests that a glass of alcohol a day helps to increase our levels of HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) to support a healthy heart. So, enjoy that glass of wine and know that you’re actually doing your heart some good!
3. Unplug. Take some time each day to de-stress. Turn off your phone, computer, iPad and do something relaxing. Doing that for just 15 minutes a day will go a long way to support your heart.
4. Sleep. Research shows that people who sleep more than seven hours a night have healthier blood pressure numbers and have lower levels of the hormone cortisol, the “stress hormone,” in their blood stream. Higher levels of cortisol make arteries more susceptible to plaque build up. So, go to bed early and sleep to your heart’s content, literally!
5. Watch your waist. It’s extra wait around your mid-section that can be an indicator of risk for heart disease. So, watch your waist. If you are a man and your waist measures more than 40″ or a woman whose waist measures more than 35,” begin target the source of excess calories. They are likely to be coming from sugar and/or white flour. That’s the easiest place to start.
What are you doing to show some love to your heart?
Spread The Word!