February is heart health month. As you take the time to appreciate your sweetheart also take the time to appreciate YOUR heart and all it does for you. Here are 5 tips to a healthy heart:
More Sleep, Better Sleep
The next time you’re tempted to stay up later than you should, remember how comfy that pillow will feel and how good a full night’s sleep is for your heart.
In one study, young and middle-aged adults who slept seven hours a night had less calcium in their arteries (an early sign of heart disease) than those who slept five hours or less or those who slept nine hours or more.
The type of shut-eye they got was important, too. Adults who said they got good-quality sleep also had healthier arteries than those who didn’t sleep soundly.
Fat-laden foods contribute to high cholesterol, which in turn can cause atherosclerosis (ath-uy-roh-skluh-roh-sis) - the buildup of fatty deposits or plaques in the walls of arteries. As plaque builds up there is less space for blood to flow normally and deliver oxygen throughout the body, including blood flow to the heart. Eliminating high fat foods and adding fresh fruit or vegetables will help you and your heart feel much better.
Manage Stress, Do What You Love
Managing stress in a healthy way - whether it’s meditation, yoga, or physical activity, is really important. Make it a point to have fun. Spend time with friends - the two legged or four legged, furry or feathered. It’s good for your emotional health and your healthy heart.
Sitting less for many means less screen time. If your job requires computer work take two or three minutes every hour to get up and stretch. This will not only give you a chance to mentally refocus, but it’s also good for your heart. Many studies have shown a sedentary lifestyle can bring on heart health issues.
Sitting less also means fewer hours staring at our cell phones. Fewer hours binge watching our favorite shows on Netflix. We know who we are! Move away from those screens and start living life. Your heart will love you for it!
To keep it simple you can aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week of moderately intense physical activity. That includes any activity that gets you moving around and breaking a slight sweat.
Don’t know how to start a heart healthy lifestyle? Contact LyndaFit for a free consultation. We can help you begin using these 5 tips to a healthy heart.