As many of you know February is Heart Healthy Month. If you didn’t know, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for BOTH men and women. It is, however, the most preventable.
According to the American Heart Association, about 92.1 million American adults are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke.
Here are few things to keep in mind to help prevent yourself from heart disease:
- Exercise: Try and get in at least 30 minutes of exercise 2-3 times a week (or more). Staying active will not only help you control your weight, but will reduce your chances of developing other conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
These ladies come sweat it out with me each week for TRX at Beachfit taking on new challenges and getting their daily dose of exercise. Get your friends together, go for a run, take a group fitness class, just get yourself moving for 30 minutes a day!!!
- Diet: Eating a heart-healthy diet can also reduce your risks. Make sure you are eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Also incorporate low-fat dairy, lean meats and fish. On the other hand avoid eating deep fried fast food, packaged foods, chips, cookies and other non-healthy foods. I like to use the 90-10 rule which means that sweets and sugary items should only account for 10% of your diet. I know what you’re thinking…80-20, 70-30…sorry…doesn’t work like that.Here’s just an example of one of my Sunday Food Preps…
– Sweet Potatoes, Quinoa and Kale Salad
– Egg Quiche (with spinach and smoked salmon)
– SuperHero Muffins from Run Fast Eat Slow
– Spiralized Zucchini
- Sleep: I know we all feel like we get enough sleep, but when is the last time you really evaluated how many hours of sleep you got? Try and get an average of 7-9 hours every night. Make sleep a priority. With all of the wearable technology out there today (Fitbit, Apple Watch, etc.) you have more resources to track your sleep.
- Manage Stress: We all manage stress differently so find what works for you. Maybe it’s yoga, meditation, meeting up with friends for coffee, taking a painting class, or curling up with a good book. Either way, stress causes high blood pressure and can have effects on our sleep and eating habits. Find healthy ways to minimize stress.
I’ve been loving these vitafusion vitamins from Target. I swear they’ve been helping me get better sleep. I’ve also been way more consistent with meditating before going to bed. I’ve found that Insight Timer is the best meditation app…trust me…it works.
- Laugh: Yes that’s right…LAUGH. According to the American Heart Association, laughing can lower stress hormones, decrease inflammation in your arteries, and raise your levels of HLD, (AKA “good cholesterol.”)
See….there’s your laugh for the day. It’s not that hard…promise!!
Weather is looking great for the weekend so get out and enjoy it!
Have a heart healthy weekend (which means eating some chocolate, dark of course)!!