Ah, Valentine’s Day.
Love is in the air this time of the year…and in the chocolate boxes, bouquets and greeting cards of happy couples. Whether you’re single or attached though, Valentine’s Day is a good opportunity to think about hearts. After all, a happy, healthy heart is something everybody can love.
This year, why not be your own Valentine and treat yourself to some heart-healthy changes in diet and lifestyle? Here are some suggestions to help get you started:
Break up with smoking.
We don’t need to tell you how dangerous smoking is. You’ve heard it a million times from a million sources. So we’ll skip the lecture if you skip the smoke breaks. Just know that our nagging comes from a place of love, since smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to have a heart attack, and that heart attack is more likely to be fatal when it hits. Okay, maybe we slipped in a little lecturing there.
Make a date with exercise.
Inactive people are more likely to suffer from heart disease, and less likely to recover from it, than people who exercise regularly. You don’t have to go from couch potato to marathon runner overnight, but fitting in 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity on most days will make a big difference to your cardiovascular health. For inspiration, check out these nine activities designed to promote heart health.
Fall in love with nutritious foods.
Sure, that giant heart-shaped box filled with mixed chocolates is tempting, but it won’t do much for your actual heart-shaped heart. Increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and legumes, however, will provide much better results. Swipe right on lean meats, omega-3 rich fatty fish, and high-fibre foods, but swipe left on added sugars and salts. Adding a quality Co Q10 supplement to your routine is another way to help maintain and support cardiovascular health.
Be a lover, not a fighter.
Stress and anger are commonplace in modern life, unfortunately. But learning to manage these negative nellies safely can help ward off high blood pressure, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, binge eating, and other dangerous factors that can cause damage to your heart over time. To keep calm and carry on in the face of stress, try adding meditation, yoga, massage, or Stress Rescue supplements to your health-management tools.
Of course, a healthy heart is something we should be working towards every day of the year. So remember to keep love in the air on February 15 and beyond. Happy Valentine’s Day!