It is already February and Heart Month is again upon us! Spending an entire month focused on matters of the heart is an efficient and beneficial way for us to raise funds and awareness of a health issue that will eventually touch all of us in some way. But, on a personal level, your heart should have your attention the other 11 months of the year as well, especially as we start hitting the boomer age, it becomes imperative to be more cautious of our lifestyle & overall well being. It is easy to fall into the trap of doing healthy things for our heart only when there is a national campaign to remind us or it’s part of our New Year resolution.Too often we go back to old habits once the hype has died down. We stop exercising as much; we allow ourselves that “one-time treat” of French Fries that quickly becomes an “often-time treat; we allow stress to creep back into our lives and our health. Before we know it, we are back to our old habits until February comes around again. It is a terrible merry-go-round that takes a toll on our heart health. Let’s stop the cycle now and make every month heart month. The good news is that it doesn’t take that much effort to build up the most important muscle you have. Below are just a few steps to help you stay on track and take care of your heart and spread the love:
- Diet & Nutrition: Start with the thing that we have to do at least 3 times a day; your diet. Eating heart healthy isn’t about iceberg lettuce and alfalfa anymore. A little research and experimentation will open your eyes to an abundance of heart healthy options that will delight your taste buds while staving off heart disease. How about Tandoori-spiced Chicken breast? Baja Fish Tacos? It can be done!
- Moderate Exercise: The next step is regular exercise. A common misconception is that heart exercises must be intense, sweaty, exhausting affairs. It can be intimidating. It doesn’t have to be like that. Getting your heart rate up for 30 minutes everyday is often enough. Go for a swim or a brisk walk. Ride your bicycle around the neighbourhood. Don’t use poor weather as an excuse. Find a reasonable gym membership. Obviously, more intense workouts will be more beneficial, but as long as you do something for 30 minutes, it will help.
- Reduce Stress: The third step is a little more challenging because it involves factors outside of your own actions. Stress is major factor to heart ailments. When we are under stress, our body goes through a physical change, which includes increased heart rates. While this is not harmful in short bursts, the effects of long-term stress can be devastating on our cardiovascular system. Make the effort to decrease stress in your life. Meditation, yoga, and exercise can all be useful anti-stress tactics. But, try to find the things in your life that cause stress and if you can’t eliminate it, try to alleviate it.
Whatever it is, it is not worth your health. Start today to the necessary steps to build a regiment in your life that takes care of your heart.
Remember your heart every month of the year and you will reap the benefits with a longer, healthier, and happier life! At iCare what drives us is the passion to educate families and individuals to take care of their overall health & help boomers support their elderly with the most appropriate home healthcare solution.