Top 10 Tips For Heart Month!


In honor of Heart Month, here are 10 tips that are sure to keep your heart healthy.

 

  1. Go Nuts about Nuts! Almost every type of nut has a lot of nutrition packed into a tiny package. Eating nuts can reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering your cholesterol, are a great source of fiber, and are high in heart healthy fats. Go ahead, grab a handful of almonds, walnuts, or pistachios and snack your way to better health! Visit Mayoclinic.org for more.
  2. Reach for the sky. Stretching has powerful effects on the body. A daily stretch can increase circulation, improve flexibility, and decrease stress levels, all of which lower blood pressure. Stretch at night before bed to help you relax or first thing in the morning to get your body moving. Go to Self.com for a great stretching routine!
  3. Know your numbers. Your blood offers many clues about your heart health. Get your cholesterol, blood sugars, and other blood tests every few years.  If you are over the age of 20 and don’t know your numbers, its time for a check up! For more information on cholesterol tests visit Mayoclinic.org.
  4. Move more. Exercise is vital to your heart health. Experts recommend at least an hour a day. You don’t need a gym membership to get it done, start by walking, swimming, or biking. Prevention.com offers 25 ways to get extra activity into your day.
  5. Break the fast. You’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, that’s because it helps stabilize your blood sugars, prevents you from overeating the rest of the day, and gives you a big boost of energy in the morning.  For something quick you can eat on the way out the door, grab a piece of fruit, nuts, or a whole grain granola bar. Visit Greatist.com for 34 quick and healthy breakfast ideas.
  6. Have a cup of tea. Tea is full of antioxidants that aid in heart health, diabetes prevention, lower cancer risk, and even promote brain health. With all of the different varieties of tea, you’re sure to never get bored! If you need even more reasons to sip visit Today.com.
  7. Hydrate. Drinking enough water each day gives you energy, boosts your mood, keeps your heart and other organs working smoothly, and keeps you feeling full. Swap out your sugar-laden drinks for some refreshing water! Not a big fan of plain water? Visit Shape.com for ideas on how to make your water taste better.
  8. Find your zen. Meditation has been proven to reduce heart attack and stroke risk. Sit quietly and breathe for 15-20 minutes a day and watch your stress melt away. Learn how here and get started today.
  9. Visualize. Visualization is a technique that lowers anxiety and stress and allows you to take a mental break from what is worrying you. The practice lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and leaves you feeling calm. Find a quiet place and get started today! Visit Mindtools.com for guided practice.
  10. Just breathe. Breathing exercises or just taking a few deep breaths can help reduce stress and promote relaxation thanks to an extra boost of oxygen. Deep breathing can be a helpful tool during times of stress and can be incorporated easily into other meditation practices. Visit Stress.org for specific breathing techniques.
A big heart-felt thank you to contributor Dr. Beth Creel, PhD.

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