Chocolates and cards, roses and teddy bears, yes it’s the sign of Valentine’s Day drawing near. Whether you look forward to this day every year or cringe at the sight of cupid, it’s February and love is in the air! With all the heart throbbing this month, we thought it was the perfect time to talk about the elephant in the room; you and your heart. In recognition of National Heart Healthy Month this blog will give you some quick tips to keep your heart strong. We will leave the romance up to you. We, personally, love your heart and love to see you healthy, up and at ‘em, doing the things you love! So use these following tips as a starting point for a perfect Valentine’s Day.
Heart Health Tip #1: Know your heart’s well-being. If you are already prone to heart disease or have a history of heart illness follow your doctor’s specific recommendations for you! Disregarding your doctor’s orders or waiting until it is too late, could put your health in danger. Take the correct prescriptions, avoid skipping medications and do not over exert yourself.
Heart Health Tip #2: Stop Smoking. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, “The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood cells. They also can damage the function of your heart and the structure and function of your blood vessels.” Smoking is not only bad for your lungs but it is also a major risk factor for heart disease. (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ )
Heart Health Tip #3: Be Active. Working out can be daunting, but it is still something you should try to do daily. You don’t have to run a marathon to keep a good workout routine. But if that is your niche or something you would like to try here is a great story on ABC NEWS about a couple who did just that and a few more! (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2014/01/01/elderly-couple-ran-a-marathon-every-day-of-2013/ ). Just take a walk around the block and enjoy the beauty of the day, dance with your sweetheart or even by yourself, go to water aerobics or do what I love; a little chair yoga. The main point is, stay active and move.
Heart Health Tip #4: Use the right fuel. You probably wouldn’t put lower grade, (“cheap gas”) into a Porsche and you wouldn’t put premium in an 18-wheeler. Everything should be powered by the right fuel. This rule also applies for your body. Feed your heart less fatty foods. Eating fish, limiting your salt intake and eating fruits and veggies are also ways to provide your heart the right energy.
Heart Health Tip #5: Stress management. Stress can really take a toll on your heart. To manage your stress levels perform relaxing activities, talk about your issues to a friend, family member or a professional source, light a relaxing candle or take a walk. It also helps to keep a journal. Write about the things that bother you and things that are going well. This may seem silly but it helps. Stress starts mentally but if it continues it has physical effects. So just take a long, deep breath…
All of these tips are great ways to take care of your heart, but they are just a starting point! Now it’s your turn! Hop online and search heart health for yourself. See what interesting things you find. Visit us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MaplecrestMichalenes) and share a tip or website that you find helpful. We would love to know. Everyone can use the love. Share some of it. Love each other and your heart. Happy Valentine’s Day, Valentine.