With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of us have our hearts on our minds. While chocolates and flowers are great, this is also a great time to think about keeping your heart healthy.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Because of this, the American Heart Association has designated February as American Heart Month, to raise awareness about heart disease and how to prevent it. Whether you’re ready for a complete change of lifestyle or you just want to start small, we’ve put together a list of tips that can help you start taking better care of your heart in 2019.
- Spice it up – We all know your diet is directly related to your heart health, and one of the easiest ways you can make a positive change is by swapping salt for other common kitchen spices when cooking. Paprika, cumin, pepper, onion powder and garlic are just a few spices that will boost up the flavor profile of your meal without being as damaging as salt. Experiment with different combinations of spices and find your favorites!
- Take a stand – Did you know that sitting still for too long is bad for your health no matter how much you exercise? Be sure to take short walks throughout your day, and find ways to add in a few more steps.
- Catch some Z’s – Adults who sleep fewer than six hours per night are twice as likely to suffer from heart attacks. Be sure to make sleep a priority and get seven to eight hours every night!
- Transition away from trans-fats – Trans-fats are linked to increased risk of a stroke or heart disease in your lifetime, so how do we avoid these? Trans-fats are generally found in snack food, prepackaged baked goods and fried fast foods. Check the labels of the food you buy to make sure what you’re eating has zero trans-fats. As a good rule of thumb, you should be eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fish. For an extra challenge, try avoiding meat more often!
- Don’t stress – It might be easier said than done, but learning to manage your stress can make a major impact in your well-being. Long-term stress can cause damage to your artery walls by increasing your blood pressure and heart rate, so it’s important to learn how to take a few deep breaths throughout your day. Find an activity you enjoy that makes you relax, like painting, yoga, running or cooking. Our Vibrant Life program can definitely help you find some ways to enjoy your time and get rid of the stress!
Keeping your heart healthy is one of the best ways to ensure a positive and vibrant life. Across all of our communities, we ensure that our residents are staying active and eating healthy. Visit our Facebook page or website to learn more about all of ISL’s signature programs.