February isn’t only for Valentine’s Day and expressing your love. It’s also a time to look at your own heart and taking time to love yourself and your own heart. Here are 14 Heart healthy tips to keep your heart beating to beautiful tune.
1.) No ifs, ands or butts about it - give up the cigarettes
Avoiding tobacco is one of the best ways to take care
of your health and blood vessels. Fact - smoking is
one of the top things you can control that is a huge
risk for heart disease.
2.) Salsa baby and not the dance
Did you know salsa is not only delicious, but is an
antioxidant rich snack. Pair with low fat chips and
think about adding in some canned black beans for
heart healthy fiber. Having a diet rich in fiber can help
lower that bad cholesterol.
3.) Move to the Music
Now this Salsa is also healthy as is any kind of
dancing. Dancing gets your heart rate up, opens up
your lungs and you burn calories. So stop what
you’re doing and take a “dance break” and get your
whole body moving.
4.) Laugh until your belly hurts
Take time to enjoy life and laugh at even the little
things. Catch your favorite comedy movie, be silly,
have fun with friends and find the funny in any
situation. The American Heart Association research
suggests laughing can lower stress hormones,
reduce inflammation in arteries and also raise levels
of “good cholesterol”.
5.) Red wine to feel fine
Moderate consumption of adult beverages can help
raise good cholesterol levels, help prevent blood clot
formation and artery damage. Word from the Mayo
Clinic says red wine in particular may offer benefits to
your heart. This doesn’t give you the go ahead to
drink the whole bottle. Moderation is key. So keep it
one glass or two.
6.) Let them eat chocolate… Whaaat??
Did you know Dark Chocolate contains heart healthy
flavonoids which help to reduce inflammation and
lower risks of heart disease. Again, moderation is
key and only dark chocolate - not the sugar laden
milk chocolate. So the next time your sweet tooth
calls, reach for a square or two of dark chocolate.
7.) Channel your inner child and go play!
Do something different to exercise like roller skating,
bowling or a good game of tag. Don’t ever think you
have to give up fun when you want to burn calories
workout your heart.
8.) Gaaaarlic Baby!
Garlic has long been used in cooking for flavor, but
do you actually know how good it is for you? Well,
here you go:
- Garlic is good for your arteries to keep them pliable
- Studies show garlic can help lower blood pressure
- It’s low in calories, rich in Vitamin C & Manganese
- Helps lower “bad cholesterol”
- Reduces artery plaque formation
- Helps lower blood sugar
- And so much more! Look it up.
9.) Spend time with a furry friend
What’s better than unconditional love and wet kisses
or the comfort of purring? Not much when it comes
to heart health. The National Institute of Health says
owning a pet can help improve your heart function.
So take some time and just be with that furry friend of
Crank up the tunes, turn off your phone, let that guy
go in front of you and enjoy the ride. Believe it or not, a road trip can be relaxing and fun. So start your
11.) Tea Time!
Take a moment and brew a cup of Green or Black
tea and reap the benefits. The American Heart
Association reports drinking one to three cups of tea
a day may help lower risk of heart issues, as drinking
these teas is linked to lower rates of angina and heart
attacks. Just skim the crumpets.
12.) Don’t forget your nuts
Heart healthy fats, protein and fiber can be found in
nuts such as almonds, pecans, walnuts and other
tree nuts. Having them in your diet can help lower
the risk of cardiovascular disease. Keep the amount
small as nuts, while full of healthy goodness, also
have a lot of calories.
13.) Take a walk
Stresses of the day can be detrimental to your heart
health, so take a walk. Walking in nature is a great
way to defuse stress, anger, anxiety or sadness.
Walking also helps you burn calories and build
muscle mass which can help maintain a healthy
14.) Find your bliss
Finding your happy place is not only good for your
soul, but it’s good for your heart. Being stressed out,
anxiety ridden or angry can up the risk of heart
disease and stroke. So find time to take care of
yourself, relax and find that zen place.