Love Your Heart More
February is Heart Health Month and I want you to LOVE your heart more. Yes, more love. Why? Heart disease is the number one cause of death in our country, more than all the cancers combined. Further, women outpace men in cardiovascular deaths. Whoa! But here’s the thing: we can prevent cardiovascular disease with lifestyle habits. Sound good?
Our hearts are pretty darn important. Your heart pumps oxygen and nutrients to every cell of your body through an intricate plumbing system plus it carries the body’s waste products to the liver, lungs, and kidneys. This is a BIG job and we need to keep this critical system in running order. We want our heart muscle strong, our arteries and veins clear, and our blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels normal. Your heart needs to be exercised regularly, powered by a nutritious and clean diet full of vegetables, and kept clear of stress factors and gunk to pump efficiently.
The greatest risk factors for heart disease are being overweight, unrelenting stress, smoking, and a diet filled with sugar, saturated animal fat, processed fats, and few vegetables. Lifestyle habits are the biggest contributor to a healthy heart and the way to go to love your heart more.
The top ten habits to embrace for a healthy heart include:
1. Eat a heart protective diet that is rich in powerful antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber from veggies and fruits, low in saturated animal fats, and cook with healthy fats like olive, avocado, and coconut oils
2. Exercise regularly and move more each day
3. Manage stress with relaxation, exercise, yoga, and mindfulness
4. Get a good night’s sleep every night
5. Maintain a healthy weight and waistline (< 35” for women and 40” for men)
6. Know your numbers: cholesterol, blood pressure, sugar level, weight, and waist circumference
7. Know your portion size when it comes to your food
8. Embrace more plant based foods and less meat
9. Limit alcohol
10. No smoking
Your heart will appreciate the extra love and continue pumping for more years to come! That’s what we want in this life!