Heart Health all Year Long

February is well known for matters of the heart.

But the health of our heart should be a consideration all year long.

Karen Wollgast
Written by:
Karen Wollgast – February 2023

The human heart is responsible for supplying oxygen and nutrients to, and removing toxins and waste from, our bodies. It receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it throughout the entire body at a steady rate of about 60-80 times per minute…. for our entire lives.  This tireless organ works non-stop and we often don’t think about how hard our heart works and how important it is until something goes wrong.  

Perhaps by showing our heart a little love throughout the whole year, we can prevent heart health problems!

We know the best way to take care of our heart is to stay active, eat healthy and reduce stress.  Below are some tips on how to incorporate these important habits into your daily lives and since February is National Heart Health Month, it’s a great time to start!

  • Try a new heart healthy activity.  Maybe you already exercise, so keep that up!  Try something new this month. 

o   Explore mind body exercises like Yoga or Tai Chi.

o   Incorporate breath and meditative practices into your routine.

o   Try strengthening instead of stretching.

o   Have solo dance parties in your room.

o   Any physical activity is better than none, so start somewhere and find activities that you enjoy so you are more likely to continue them!

·        Educate yourself.  Find out your family history and learn about what your risk factors are and how to prevent them. 

·        A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be dull and boring. 

o   Take up new hobbies that promote healthy living. 

o   Try a cooking class or join a walking group. 

o   Committing to others will help you show up for you and them.

·        Manage your stress levels. 

o   Identify stressful situations and learn how to manage or remove them. 

o   Find supportive people in your life to help you during stressful situations and take action. 

o   Often, just committing to a change is motivation enough to feel successful and keep you going in the right direction.

·        Get your vitals checked.  

o   Ask your doctor about your homocysteine, c-reactive protein, and triglyceride levels and check your blood pressure. 

o   These simple tests can be an important part of keeping your heart healthy and strong.

o   Your doctor can advise you on what these numbers mean and help you keep them in a healthy range. 

Our hearts work so hard for us every day of our lives!  Show your heart a little love this month and keep it going throughout the year.  Your heart will love you for it.   

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