For many, February is a month filled with red roses, gourmet chocolates and romantic overtures. With so much emphasis on the heart, it’s no wonder that February is also #HeartHealthMonth
. It’s a time to shine the spotlight on how to avoid cardiovascular disease — by increasing awareness and taking small steps to be more heart healthy.
Consider these five habits to help your heart stay in tip-top shape, and learn how you can make daily improvements. Your heart will thank you!
Habit No. 1: Stop Smoking
Smoking is of course linked to lung cancer, but it also has been linked to heart disease, stroke and other chronic lung diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 250 chemical components in cigarettes are harmful to human health. If you smoke and want to quit, check out this 5-step process from the American Heart Association. Remember, a little preparation will go a long way in helping you kick the habit for good.
Habit No. 2: Don’t indulge – eat healthy
The AHA reports that nearly 70% of American adults are either overweight or obese. Being obese puts you at higher risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and more. To avoid overeating, have smaller portions, watch your salt intake, prepare healthy snacks ahead of time and keep a food journal.
Over time, these simple lifestyle changes will help you avoid the bulge and hopefully any related heart risks. (And if you do indulge — as we all do from time to time — saddle up and get right back on the health-conscious horse!)
Need a built-in support group? Our ZEN Project 8 Facebook group is a 24/7 resource and community that will help you stay on track! Join here!
Habit No. 3: Go heavy on the fruits & veggies
While a plate of broccoli may not be your thing, the AHA’s journal “Stroke” reports eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of stroke worldwide. The AHA advises the average adult should eat four to five servings each of fruits and vegetables daily, based on a 2,000-calorie diet
A diet rich in vegetables and fruits includes crucial nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and fiber. And there are so many delicious ways to consume fruits and veggies.
One way to support heart health is to add our best-selling Reserve
supplement to your daily diet. Bursting with superfruits, antioxidants and heart-healthy resveratrol, Reserve is a tasty and convenient way to supercharge your body with nature’s finest ingredients.
Inside each Reserve gel packet, you’ll find:
- Dark cherry
- Açai berry
- Concord grape
- Green tea
- Aloe vera
Habit No. 4: Get up, get moving
The AHA reports: “Physical activity not only helps control your blood pressure, but it also helps you manage your weight, strengthen your heart and manage your stress levels.” The AHA recommends adults participate in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, or at least 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity.
If you’re not quite ready to run a marathon, start small with daily walks, and work yourself up to more high-intensity cardio like running, cycling, swimming and elliptical. Remember, exercise can be fun, so look for the activity that works best for you and your lifestyle. Invite friends to join you!
Habit No. 5: Don’t ignore physical symptoms
Pay attention to the signals your body sends you, and never ignore the symptoms of heart disease. These signs often present themselves right before a heart attack occurs: fatigue, heart palpitations, difficult or labored breathing and chest pain. Early detection and prompt medical attention can save your life or the lives of loved ones. Recognize the signs and act on them!
There you have it. Five habits you can implement today that will contribute to a healthier and happier heart in the future. Start small and strive to be better every day. Taking care of your heart means it will take care of you!