February is American Heart Month, so it’s a great time to pause, reflect, and take stock on just how well…or poorly…you’re treating your heart. Nothing is more critical to our health, well-being, and our very lives than our hearts. So, wherever you’re falling short, take steps today to get on track for your best heart health possible.
Here are eight top tips for how to have your healthiest heart:
1- Exercise. Duh. We’ve heard this a thousand times. But do you know why it’s said so often? Because it’s TRUE! Now, you don’t need to go from inactive to marathoner in a week. Instead, simply increase your activity, as any increase is progress. Commit yourself to ratcheting up your regimen over time, and you will be amazed at how much better you feel in just a short time. Start with long walks or working out in your home. Start a kettlebell of clubbell practice. F3 Wellness can help you get on the right track with your exercise plan.
2- Diet. You are what you eat. This doesn’t mean to throw out all food and live on celery and water. Far from it. It simply means that you should assess what you’re eating - every day, every week, every month – and eliminate the things which hurt your heart. Cut back on the red meat and fats. Lower your intake of unhealthy cholesterols.
3- Drink more water. Dehydration is hard on your heart, as the blood thickens and makes the heart work harder to continue circulation. Proper hydration helps our entire body work correctly, including the heart.
4- Quit smoking. This is also another no-brainer, but smoking greatly increases the risk of heart disease. That, along with the increased risk of lung cancers and other life-threatening complications, make today the best time to quit.
5-Reduce your stress. Stress is another leading cause of heartaches, as long-term stress can increase blood pressure and other contributing factors. Analyze your life and determine what things are contributing to your stress the most. Perhaps the morning commute leaves you feeling tied in knots all day. Would it be worth it to leave home 15 minutes earlier, to remove the time pressure of arriving to work on time, allowing you to dump that morning stressor? Or perhaps you need to do some things not only to reduce stress but also to relieve? F3 Wellness can help, with our licensed massage therapy services and yoga classes.
6- Manage your weight. Being overweight significantly increases the risk of heart disease. Follow the tips above and commit to a healthy lifestyle, and you can then take charge of your body and finally lost that weight you’ve been needing to drop.
7- Reduce your salt intake. Stop putting salt on your food at the table. Then, begin to use less of it when cooking. Also, be careful about the amount of salt added to processed foods, a huge source of salt in our diets today.
8- Eat more fish. Try to eat fish at least two times each week, including a serving of oily fish such as salmon. These are a great source of omega-3 fats, which are believed to help prevent heart disease.
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier heart. Not sure how to get started? Contact F3 Wellness today. We can help you with an exercise routine, nutrition plan, stress relief, and more. Protect your heart and live a fuller, longer life.