Other than being the shortest month of the year, February’s other claim to fame is Valentine’s Day. So, let’s use this month to talk about your H-E-A-R-T and simple things you can do to help make your heart happy!
H is for health profile. Make sure to get regular checkups so that you are aware of your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and more, all of which affect your heart health.
E is for emotions. Keep negative emotions in check. Added stress and negativity affect your entire body, including your heart. Simple strategies like deep breathing, positive affirmations, belly laughs, doing something fun with a buddy, or volunteering can boost your heart. Also, consider mindful, relaxing activities or other meditative practices to keep calm and cool as a cucumber!
A is for activity. It is essential for good heart health to be physically active every day, your way! You don’t have to belong to a gym or attend classes—there are plenty of great exercise videos on line. Break up activity ten minutes at a time if you can’t set aside longer intervals. Nothing is too small a start! Try a walk around the block each day for a week. Next week, make it two!
R is for reflection. Take time each day to reflect on what and whom you are thankful for. If you have a certain faith or religious tradition that is meaningful to you, reflect on faith as well. Embrace an attitude of gratitude. The more you reflect on positive things, the happier your heart will be.
T is for time. Making time for yourself is important no matter how busy you are. If you don’t make the time for your health and heart, you just might need to make the time for your illness down the road! Make time to be social, to chat with friends, to help someone in need, to brighten someone’s day, and to enjoy nature. These things make your heart smile!
So, take heart and make your heart healthy and happy by living a heart-healthy life!