4 Habits for a Healthy Heart

by | Feb 14, 2018 | Healthy Living

In Northern Colorado, we are extremely fortunate to have beautiful weather to call us outdoors, access to local farms and fresh produce, and bike trails and hiking aplenty. Still, the busyness of life can often distract us from our wellness goals, which eventually takes a toll on our heart health.

Show your hardworking heart a little love, and incorporate a few of these heart healthy habits into your daily routine:

Substitute a vegetable.  The American Heart Association recommends eating 5 servings of vegetables each day. To boost your veggie consumption, replace a snack or ingredient with a vegetable! Swap baby carrots for pretzel sticks, use lettuce as the bun for your burger, or even try a cauliflower base as a pizza crust!

Take “me time.” High levels of stress wreak havoc on our overall heart health. Take fifteen minutes to sit down with a good book, soak in a bubble bath, meditate, or just relax. Feel like there is not enough time in the day? Wake up just a few minutes earlier to sit with yourself and enjoy the morning before you begin your daily tasks!

Step out of your comfort zone. Do you always bike the same trail or participate in the same group fitness class? Try something new! Although it can be hard and sometimes uncomfortable, mixing up your fitness regime is a great way to reignite your excitement for physical activity. Log miles on a new trail, try a new workout or join a friend for their favorite activity!

Indulge occasionally! The flavonoids found naturally in dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) and red wine have been correlated with decreased blood pressure and improved blood circulation throughout the body. Of course, moderation is the key to actually benefitting from these tasty treats! Unwind two nights a week with a piece or two of chocolate, or a 3 oz. pour of your favorite red.

Resources:

https://healthyforgood.heart.org/eat-smart/articles/suggested-servings-from-each-food-group
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2633295/
http://www.acsm.org/public-information/articles/2016/10/07/making-exercise-fun-again
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/16774-heart-healthy-benefits-of-chocolate

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