February is American Heart Monthhoward.spaeth
February is American Heart Month and on February 2, millions of people wore red to raise awareness for cardiovascular disease. Many times, heart disease can be preventable when you take the proper measures.
See your doctor before there’s a problem. High cholesterol and blood pressure can go unchecked for years, so make a doctor’s appointment even if you think you’re fine. Know your family history, get yourself examined, and stay informed. Then, use your doctor’s recommendations to make positive changes in your life.
Eat healthy. Skip the red meat and opt for grilled fish more often. Choose brightly colored fruits and veggies to eat several times per day. Look for healthier recipes of your favorite dishes. Cook with extra virgin olive oil instead of butter or switch out potato chips for dehydrated veggies.
Keep moving! Cardio and strength training activities like running, squats, and push-ups three days per week is optimal. Combine that with at least 2 hours per week of deep breathing exercises like yoga or Pilates, and you’re on the path to success. Know your limits and watch for injury, but the physical strength and emotional confidence you’ll gain from consistent exercise can only help your heart.
Foster healthy relationships. Stress levels play a huge part in heart health, and maintaining healthy relationships is an effective way to keep your cool. Do your best to cut ties with toxic situations or change your reactions to them. In addition, focus on having a healthy relationship with yourself. Treat yourself well everyday.
Ease into it. It’s no good to keep ultra-healthy habits for a few weeks only to go the opposite direction when you can’t sustain all of the changes at once. It’s okay to indulge occasionally as long as you do your best to stay on track most of the time. You don’t need to be perfect, but making healthy choices consistently will improve your overall wellbeing.