Happy Valentine’s Day! Matters of the heart are complicated, but taking care of it can be simple. In honor of National Heart Month, check out these heart healthy tips!
1. Inactivity is the #1 risk factor for heart disease! Log at least 75 minutes of vigorous (or 150 minutes of moderate) exercise per week. Walk, run, dance, bike, swim- do whatever you enjoy to get that heart pumping.
2. Eat a heart-healthy diet, including vegetables, fruits, low-fat proteins and whole grains, and reduce sodium intake. Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol, like butter, lard, egg yolks, bacon and fried foods.
3. Stress can often lead to high blood pressure, which is another risk factor for heart disease. Surround yourself with positive people to alleviate, and help you deal with stress. Laughing has been shown to dilate blood vessels, increasing blood flow and reducing blood pressure, and snuggling releases oxytocin, which also reduces blood pressure.
4. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Too little sleep can lead to a higher risk of developing heart disease, and tends to have a snowball effect on your mood and energy level.