Valentine’s Day isn’t the only reason to celebrate in February. This month also includes National Wear Red Day (2/2) and American Heart Month making it a perfect time to focus on heart health.
Being physically active offers many benefits to your heart including managing weight, improving cholesterol and blood pressure and lowering stress. Look for a variety of ways you can include more movement in your day. Focus on activities you enjoy and can do with friends and family so you are more likely to make them a part of your routine.
Know Your Numbers
Many of the factors that determine our risk for heart disease have no symptoms. You may not feel differently if your blood pressure or cholesterol numbers are elevated. The good news is that both are easily checked. Talk to your healthcare provider about how often you should be screened. Want to learn more about heart smart basics? Review this document from NHLBI.
Eating to support heart health doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods. Small shifts in what you eat can make a big difference. Putting more plants on your plate is a great start. Include your favorite fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes every day. Enhance flavor with herbs and spices more often than salt and sugar. If you find it helpful to have a plan, check out DASH. It is flexible enough for anyone to follow and has been proven to improve blood pressure and other measures of health. Check out some of our favorite heart smart recipes: