February is Healthy Heart Month and the perfect time to take charge of your health! Your heart is a key muscle that keeps your body going and it is important to take care of it. Knowing possible risk factors and talking with your doctor are ways to help prevent heart disease. Possible risk factors include: family history of heart disease, smoking, having high blood pressure and having high cholesterol. Living a healthy-heart lifestyle can be challenging when you first start, but if you try making small changes you will start seeing big differences!
Here are a few tips to help to take care of your heart:
● Eat more fruits and vegetables: try eating more leafy greens like spinach or kale and other vegetables like broccoli and carrots. Oranges and apples are also great fruits to eat more of to take care of your heart.
● Have more good fats: use more olive or canola oil instead of butter or margarine. Eat more avocados and peanut butter or almond butter.
● Try high-protein meats: Eat more fish like salmon and tuna and try more lean meats like ground turkey or chicken.
● Regular physical activity: exercising regularly will help to improve your heart health, try to aim for 2.5 hours of physical activity a week or 30 minutes a day. Walking, running, or swimming are excellent ways to get moving.
● Manage your stress: talking with a professional counselor or your friends and family for emotional support can help you to cope with stress. Try meditation or breathing techniques when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
Heart-healthy living. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/heart-healthy-living.