It is February again and people in most countries are sending so many symbolic hearts to demonstrate their care and affection. Surely, the Heart Month is the perfect time to express someone’s love to another, but it is also the best time to start showing your own great, big heart the love and care it truly deserves. And what a better way to do that than with food and heart-throbbing movements, yeah?
A happy life is a healthy life; at the center of a healthy life is a healthy heart. Despite your social status or size of your bankroll, heart disease can certainly take a lot of the joy out of your life and even more so if it affects the life of someone you love. Choosing the foods and lifestyle that are conducive to maintaining a healthy heart is essential to long and happy lives for you and the ones you hold dear.
Foods to Eat to Your Heart’s Delight
Eating for your hearts health means committing to a diet low in harmful sodium, fat, calories and high in fiber. Dairy products like cheese, butter and milk as well as meats have high levels of fat and therefore should be eaten less. Reducing the amounts of sodium you ingest will help to reduce your blood pressure effectively, reducing the risk of heart disease.
Heart problems are more common in people who are obese. Consuming fewer calories is one way to reverse the condition. Foods that are high in fiber, and a large amount of healthy fruits and veggies will also be beneficial. To keep you safe from heart disease, eat more:
High in beta glucan (a soluble fiber), this breakfast food will go a long way in preventing heart disease. Other grain foods that are also high in beta glucan and good for the heart are mushrooms, barley, rye and wheat.
Recipe to try: Red Velvet Oatmeal
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids can lower the levels of triglyceride and cholesterol in the blood, and also help to regulate heathy blood pressure. Other fatty fish also have an abundance of omega 3 as do eggs and walnuts.
Recipe to try: Steamed Salmon with Fresh Lemon and Dill
What makes a raspberry red? Anthocyanin antioxidants do, these antioxidants are also good food for the heart. Recent studies on women with heart disease proved that the regular consummation of raspberries and other berries high in anthocyanin can reduce the risk of heart attack as much as 30 percent.
Recipe to try: Mixed Berries and Peach Pavlova
Exercises to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Another major factor in fighting heart disease is daily exercise. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the great causes of heart disease in America today. So many people have found work in the technological sector, where exercise is limited to fingers and brain, providing very little physical activity. Increasing your heart health doesn’t really require you to do high level of exercise, take the occasional break and:
Yoga is great for building up strength and toning your muscles, but it’s also great for calming your heart. Regular practice reduces inflammation, which is your body’s response to stress and other harmful situations. Reducing the body’s response to stress means lowering blood pressure and the chance of a heart attack.
Start your practice at home with one of my favorite yogis, Adriene! Check out her lessons on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene
Instead of watching T.V. for your daily relaxation, take a brisk walk. Just 40 minutes a day of exercise will do wonders for your physical condition.
Learn how to create your own individualized walking plan and take the first step toward achieving your health and fitness goals today. Get “10,000 Steps a Day to a Better You“, it’s easy to get started.
To greatly strengthen your heart you may be interested in taking up a routine of other cardiovascular or aerobic exercises. Jogging, swimming, and cycling are all good choices; 20 to 30 minutes of these exercises a day, 2 to 3 times a week will do wonders for keeping a healthy heart.
Take some time during this Month of Hearts to look over your life’s habits especially in regards to diet and exercise. Ask yourself if there’s anything you can do to keep your heart free from disease and living healthy for many years to come. Good health and a long life to you my friends! Have a happy February!