Did you know that February is American Heart Month- and not just because of Valentine's Day! In the health community, February is a time to focus on all things heart related and people everywhere wear red to raise awareness about heart disease. Even in 2018, heart disease is still the number one leading cause of death for women AND men.
So what easy changes can YOU make at home to help make your heart a little healthier?
1. A Heart Healthy Diet (1)
When it comes to heart health, there are plenty of things to eat and to avoid eating! Nuts, legumes, salmon, citrus fruits, blueberries, avocado, flax seeds and olive oil are all good choices. Avoid sugar, processed foods and fried foods. There is even research to support a relation between fried foods and an increase in heart disease (2).
2. Get More (Doctor Approved) Exercise (3)
Exercise is good for the body all around, and it isn't any different for your heart, which is also a muscle! Some heart conditions prohibit certain exercises, so make sure to consult with your doctor to see what is best for you. There are many ways to sneak exercise in and it seems like every day we read about a new fitness class or craze. Check local gyms to see if anything offered sparks your interest! Don't forget we have a gym right next door- Catalyst Training Center! We work in tandem with them to give you your best care. Need help finding motivation?
a. Grab a workout buddy- it will keep you accountable and make the time more social and enjoyable!
b. Curate a playlist specifically for your chosen exercise (high intensity jams for kickboxing, relaxing melodies for yoga).
c. Give yourself rewards as you meet goals- did you make it to the gym 3 days this week? Maybe that means you've earned a gift card to your favorite store.
3. Consider Supplements (4)
Supplements may not be right for everyone, but ask your health practitioner if there are any that can help you. Research has suggested that healthy fish oils (tuna, etc.) can help support the heart. Others include magnesium, Co Q 10, niacin and vitamin K.
There are many changes you can make to help increase heart health, but here are a few easy ones to get you started! Feel free to ask us what may be right for you at your next appointment.