February is national heart health month (Valentine’s Day anyone?), so this week we’re going to introduce you to a few ways you can support your heart health for a long and happy life!
Heart Healthy Snacks!
Starting with what we at ThirdLeaf NW know best, there are loads of healthy snacks that don’t taste like a punishment. In the fruit category, berries are about to be your new best friend. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and more are rich in nutrients that boost your heart health. Nuts are another great snack, as they are linked with lowering inflammation that could contribute to heart disease. And don’t try to skip out on the vegetables! Leafy greens are another great source of vitamins and antioxidants that will protect your arteries.
Heart Healthy Exercises
The best workouts for your heart are the ones that get your blood pumping! Workouts like aerobics, cycling, and swimming are great for improving circulation which will help lower your heart rate and blood pressure. If cardio isn’t really your thing, flexibility and mobility exercises are other great options. These types of workouts don’t directly benefit your heart, but keeping your muscles strong and flexible helps the rest of your body feel good!
Feeling stressed out can have many negative side effects on the body, including high blood pressure which can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Make sure you are taking time for self-care and relaxation to avoid stress. This may look like reading a book for 30 minutes every morning, journaling, or having some tea. Whatever relaxation looks like to you, make time for it in your schedule!