Wellness Tip: Boost Your Heart Health
In a world where many of us are juggling too much, health and self-care are often the first things we sacrifice to make more room in our schedules. While I would love a healthier lifestyle, I simply do not have the capacity to make major changes right now. I wanted to share some small steps to help jumpstart your heart health.
ENJOY HEART HEALTHY FOODS!
Am I still going to order takeout twice a week when the days are too long to get a homemade dinner on the table? Yes – but I can make an effort to add some healthy choices into my day. Here are a few ideas:
- Enjoy plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, where possible. Bonus points for heart-healthy fiber, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels (beans, oats, barley, apples, pears, avocados). On my busiest days, a quick snack of trail mix with nuts and dried fruit makes me feel like I’m doing something good for myself!
- Make an effort to squeeze breakfast in each day. Starting the day with protein, fiber, and a full belly can help you make healthy choices and maintain a normal blood sugar level throughout the day. (Trail mix works here in a pinch, too!)
- If you’re trying to break up with harmful foods, try ditching sugary drinks and saturated fat. Some of my favorite sparkling water brands have recently added caffeinated options – a much easier swap while still giving you a boost!
AIM FOR MOVEMENT!
Any way your body is able to, look for ways to keep moving throughout the day. In a perfect world that might mean you squeeze in some interval training and intense cardio; in my life as a new mom, that means making an effort to take the dog for a longer walk and dashing up and down the stairs to take care of laundry. Stand, stretch, and take frequent breaks from sitting at your computer. Trust that every bit of movement counts!
GET A CHECK UP!
Be sure to take advantage of your annual physical for a quick health check, including recommended screenings to check your cholesterol, blood pressure and more. Knowing more about your general health will help you make appropriate choices to stay on track or make improvements. Annual dental exams are just as important; dental issues can contribute to heart disease, so take care of any concerns and keep up with your regular care.
Reduce your Stress – it can impact your sleep, food choices, and more. Need a little help relaxing? You can enjoy free guided meditations through the Insight Timer Mobile App.
By: Lorelai Mentzer, Senior Marketing Analyst – Employee Benefits