HEART-HEALTH VALENTINE’S DAY

February 13, 2018

Valentine’s Day is a great time to celebrate love and can be a reminder to make healthy choices part of your everyday life. The month of February is not just about flowers and chocolate.

 

 

February is also American Heart Month. Take some time to be good to your heart, and share these heart-healthy tips with your friends and family.

1) Shoot for 30: 30 minutes of exercise, that is. Consistent exercise helps strengthen your heart and burn the fat. If you can’t fit in 30 continuous minutes of exercise, you can split it up into three 10-minute walks throughout the day.

2) Eat your fats: Certain fats are good for your heart. These fats include olive oil, avocado, nuts and oilseedS. In addition, try having at least two servings a week of fatty coldwater fish like salmon, halibut and tuna, which are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3s may decrease triglyceride levels, slow the rate of atherosclerotic plaque and lower blood pressure.

3) Take charge of stress: Stress may affect your heart health. Taking a little time out for yourself will do wonders for your heart and your well-being. Schedule some social time with a friend. Carve out 30 minutes to sit down with a good book or just take a moment to enjoy a cup of coffee and relax and recharge.

4) Be mindful of salt: Studies have shown that too much salt in the diet is a major contributor to heart disease. While it’s an important seasoning in your food, you can limit the amount you add when cooking by amping up other flavors, like garlic and freshly ground pepper.

5) Stop smoking. Smoking not only damages your lungs, it also negatively affects your heart health. Once you stop smoking, your odds of developing heart disease drops rapidly. Breaking that smoking habit is essential for your overall health.

6) Know your ABC’s: “A” stands for “A1C”. “B” stands for “blood pressure”. “C” stands for “cholesterol”. A1C levels below 7 percent ●Blood pressure below 140/90, or lower in some cases ●LDL cholesterol level below 100 (LDL is one type of cholesterol, often called the “bad cholesterol”)

7) Limit your consumption of red meat, sugar and unhealthy fats. There are plenty of foods you can eat instead to enjoy a heart-healthy diet.  Add fruits and vegetables to your diet to increase your fiber consumption.

8) Eat breakfast: Studies also show that people who eat breakfast are more successful at losing weight (and keeping it off) than those who don’t eat breakfast and hence keeping your heart healthy.

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