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Most people think that Cupid only aims his arrow at our hearts every year on February 14th, but Cupid isn’t the only one looking out. One day a year is not nearly enough time to spend reflecting on the human heart; which is why the entire month of February has become recognized across the country as National Heart Month. While heart health is critical to keep in mind on a daily basis, this month of awareness helps to remind us of the importance behind the organ that makes all Valentine’s Day novelty possible. So why not take advantage of this year’s heart-themed holiday, and introduce some new habits that will take a serious load off of your body’s favorite “beat” box?
1. Eat e-FISH-iently
If you haven’t heard by now, it’s time to listen. Hearts these days don’t beat as hard for red meat. The unsaturated fatty acids in fish, specifically salmon, tuna, and darker colored “oily” fish may help to lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation that can damage blood vessels and lead to heart disease. Try working more fish into your weekly diet, baked or broiled, with these delicious Safecatch Recipes. Or if you don’t have time to do the cooking, you can still see some of the beneFISH from Omega-3s by upping your intake of Fish Oil (Wiley's Finest is one of our favorites)!
2. Walk it off
It’s no secret that taking a walk is good for your health. Whether you choose to spend ten minutes of your lunch break stretching your legs, or an extra forty minutes walking to the store instead of driving, your body will thank you. Not only will a daily walk help you to de-stress, but it is a great way to boost your heart rate when you don’t have time for the gym.
3. Pass (on) the Salt
You don’t need it! Salt is a leading offender of heart failure and can very easily be avoided. Go heavier on the black pepper for extra taste, or try substituting salt in your dishes for more flavorful, heart-healthy spices like turmeric, ginger, or oregano. We’ve even collaborated with our friends at Frontier Co-op to help with the shopping.
4. Toss the Cigarettes
It’s better for your heart, your lungs, and your wallet. Think of all the money you’ll save to buy more fish!
5. Stress Less, Laugh More
We all know that it’s important to take life seriously, but when it starts negatively affecting our health, it’s time to lighten up. Research has shown that laughter is a huge stress reliever that can improve your mood and stimulate your heart! If you don’t giggle on a daily basis, you might want to re-evaluate your relationship with the office clown. There are also many other ways to manage stress, if laughter isn’t the right fit for you.
This February, show your loved one(s) how much you care by caring for yourself. Flowers and chocolate are always nice, but they are fleeting and quite frankly, dangerous for those of us with floral allergies! Nothing says “I love you” like a healthy heart, and with a few small lifestyle changes, you can ensure that your heart keeps saying it for a very long time.