February, the month of love, chocolate, roses, teddy bears, and fancy dinners is upon us. Yes, this is a great distraction from our very busy, hectic lives which we all need sometimes. However, what we need now more than ever is a healthy heart. Eating up all of those caramel and peanut butter filled chococlate hearts will not get you there. February is National Heart Health Month! So you wonder, how can we keep our heart in great shape so that our lives are longer and more fulfilling. There are many ways. So look in to your heart and think about what you eat, how often you exercise, and what you are putting in to your body. Your choices may be doing more damage than you realize.
Be more mindful of the food choices you make. Food can be medicine. Get back to the basics and eat real food- the foods we were meant to eat and digest. Eat less prepackaged and processed foods like frozen meals, hot dogs, deli meats and fast foods, and sugary drinks and snacks. Eat more fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and WHOLE grains.
Exercise regularly. Exercise can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, reduce cancer and diabetes risk, build healthy bones, muscles and joints. All of which can lower your risk for heart disease.
Don’t smoke. Smoking greatly increases your risk, as well as those who ingest your smoke, for heart disease. When you smoke you are inhaling toxic metals, cancer causing chemicals and poisonous gases.
Keep your heart in the best shape you can so that you can give your loved ones many more special Valentines days to come.