Feb 03
February 3, 2014

Three Simple Changes for a Healthy Heart


It is the season of love, of flowers, of romance, of hearts. Show your heart some love so you can live a long and healthy life! Your heart is vastly responsible for the wellbeing of your entire body, so it is worth giving some extra pampering and attention. We know you also care about the hearts of those you love so encourage your children, spouse, friends and family members to think beyond the chocolates and candy hearts and pick some goals for heart health. The Alliance for Healthier Generation suggests you focus on three key areas to help your heart: physical activity, eating habits and stress levels.

Keep your body moving and your heart pumping
After your kids have sat in school all day, rather than turning on the TV or insisting they sit and do homework, it is better for their physical and mental health to take a break and get moving. Encourage them to go outside or take the time to lead them in an indoor game such as Mother May I? or Simon Says. Let the kid in you join in!

Change those bad eating habits
Although you may love certain sweets from your Valentine, now is not the time to follow your heart. Put a limit on sugary candy, drinks, and high fat snacks. Instead, substitute daily fruits and vegetables. Yogurt can be another healthy alternative, but many yogurts can have more sugar than Valentine’s Day candy. Make sure you choose unsweetened yogurts. For your main dish when out to dinner or cooking at home, go for grilled meats in salads and entrees rather than fried. 

Minimize Stress
Stress can cause aches, pains and low energy in the short term and much worse in the long term. Not only is stress unhealthy, but you may be dealing with it in an unhealthy way such as eating more or getting less sleep. A few minutes a day of deep breathing or meditation can help you keep calm. Also try listening to music while you work on stressful tasks. In addition to a few daily minutes, set aside more extended periods of time once or twice a week to clear your mind.