Take This to Heart

When you think of February, you can’t help but picture a heart.  Valentine’s Day, of course, is February 14th. All you cupids out there, go get your heart-shaped everything for your beloved!  The month of February is also Heart Health Awareness Month.

So, how do we care for our hearts so we can be here with our loved ones for as many Valentine’s Days as possible?

Below are just a few suggestions to keep your heart pumping:

  • What you put in your body matters to the heart. Incorporate more Omega-3 fatty acids (think fish). Indulge in dark chocolate, containing heart-healthy flavonoids. Go nuts! Tree nuts, like pecans, walnuts, and almonds, contain heart-healthy fats. Drink a spot of tea, or sip on some red wine (but don’t overdo it)! Dark chocolate-covered almonds for the win on Valentine’s Day!
  • Move it! We all know that moving our bodies more is just better for us. We tend to get stuck in the desk jockey-to-couch potato rut. Make a conscious choice to put more movement in your day.  Even the simplest tasks can have benefits for our hearts and overall health. Take the stairs, do some pushups during and commercial break, and park further away when shopping. No need to spend hours in the gym or run a marathon.  Small bursts of activity in intervals, provide your heart with the benefits it needs.
  • Don’t stress.  Easier said than done, yes. So many of us have chaotic and hectic lives. Research does show that laughter really is the best medicine! It can reduce stress hormones as well as inflammation in the arteries. So, go ahead and LOL!
  • Bonus.  Here’s one tip that you may not know.  Good oral hygiene has many benefits that have recently come to light. Seems the bacteria that causes gum disease is also thought to be linked to heart disease. So, brush up!