Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.
The stores are full of heart shaped goodies.
How about your heart?
What shape is it in?
The heart is a muscular organ that has the ability to beat over 3 million times in a person’s life. The cardiac muscle is an involuntary muscle that constitutes the main tissue of the walls of the heart. As any muscle, the heart muscle also needs to be exercised to stay strong and healthy and needs to be supported with a nutritious, balanced diet.
Before you start a new exercise, nutrition or supplement program, always consult with your physician, to see if it is the right plan for you or if any modifications needed.
This Valentine’s Day celebrate by changing your habits to improve your heart health!
Here are the 7 most important steps to get and keep your heart in shape:
MOVE EVERY DAY
Regular exercise improves overall health including your heart. Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise will work the heart muscle and can help to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.
Choose your favorite activities and include them in your weekly schedule. When you like what you do, you will be more likely to do it. It is a well-known fact that exercising regularly increases energy and gives a sense of well-being. However, finding the time and the motivation to work out on a regular basis can be a bit tricky.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes weekly of “moderate-intensity aerobic exercise” or 75 minutes of “vigorous-intensity aerobic activity”. If you think about it, that is only 10-20 minutes a day!
EAT HEART HEALTHY FOODS
Many delicious foods are great sources of antioxidants, fiber, important micronutrients and heart healthy fats. They can help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, regulating blood sugar, preventing oxidative damage from free radicals, reducing inflammation and improving the health of your arteries.
Try to include them in your diet as often as you can. (check with your doctor for possible limitations based on your specific needs.)
Leafy greens, berries, avocados, fatty fish, (such as salmon, sardines and tuna), walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, dark chocolate (80% or higher cocoa content), raw cacao powder or cacao nibs, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, avocado oil and green tea.
Drink plenty of clean, filtered water to keep your cells hydrated and the blood vessels from constricting, which can lead to increased blood pressure.
Following a regular workout routine and eating a healthy well balance diet with the right portions for you can help you lose weight and keep it off. Get help if you cannot get your weight under control.
Don’t put it off! Stop smoking now! As soon as you stop, your body starts repairing itself. With every cigarette you don’t have, you can dramatically reduce the risk of life-threatening health problems.
LIMIT ALCOHOL INTAKE
Too much alcohol can weaken your heart and cause irregular beat pattern. It also puts you at a higher risk for high blood pressure. It can weaken your immune system make your body more susceptible to infections, colds, flu and other illnesses.
DON’T STRESS – LAUGH AND RELAX DAILY
Laughter and meditation have been found to lower stress levels and help you relax. Lowering stress hormones will reduce inflammation in the arteries and reduces risks of heart disease. How you react in stressful situations can make a difference in your body’s response also. Here are some relaxation tips:Take slow, deep breathsSoak in a warm bath
Take slow, deep breaths
Soak in a warm bath
Write in a journal
GET ENOUGH SLEEP!
Our body rhythms are tied to the sun. We are supposed to go to sleep when it gets dark and get up when the sun comes up. The best time to sleep between 10pm and 6am to let our bodies do the physical and mental repairs we need. Physical repair happens between 10pm-2am and mental repair between 2am-6am. Sleeping later will not make up for repeatedly going to bed after midnight. Sleep deprivation is accumulative. The more sleep you miss, the harder will it be to make up and the more damage it will cause to your health. Long standing sleep deprivation can increase your heart rate and blood pressure and put extra strain on your heart.
We hope these tips are helpful and you take them to heart! Remember that employee health and wellness fairs are vital to help increase awareness and make for healthy, happy, productive employees who are engaged in their jobs. Contact us now at New York Health and Wellness Fairs to book your next Health Fair!
HAVE A HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY WITH A HEALTHY HEART!
Contribution by Agi Kadar