In honor of National Heart Month, HealingRadius thought this would be the perfect time to discuss heart health and a few ways to stay ahead of the game when it comes to the central part of our being. Sure, you’ve heard of some, like exercising and eating nutrient-packed foods, but did you know that red wine has been proven to improve physical performance and heart function? We were excited to hear that news, too! So, let’s get into it:
Exercise, not extra fries
Everyday Health magazine says, “For optimum heart health, the American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise on most days of the week. If you can’t get in 30 minutes all at once, you can divide your exercise routine into 10- or 15-minute segments.” The 30 minutes can also include walking, climbing stairs, bicycling, swimming, and dancing, which are almost all normal day-to-day activities. Perhaps you can park your car farther away from destinations, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and play dance-inducing music when you get ready in the morning. And for more serious workouts, Prevention magazine says, “The best exercises for the heart are interval training, yoga, core workouts like Pilates, and weight training.”
Eat (and drink) healthy
There’s no doubt that eating healthy can help the heart and other functions of the body, but what type of foods actually do it? Health magazine tells us that the best foods for heart health are salmon, oatmeal, dark chocolate, soy, legumes, extra-virgin olive oil, broccoli, spinach, and kale, among others. Other reliable sources add to that list with berries, flaxseed, apples, tomatoes, and walnuts. But a recent study from the University of Alberta has been published in the Huffington Post (UK), stating that drinking red wine “will particularly help those who are unable to exercise. Resveratrol (a natural compound) was seen to improve physical performance, heart function, and muscle strength in the same way as they’re improved after a gym session.” They also mentioned how other studies have “revealed that those who drink a glass of red wine a day are less likely to develop dementia or cancer, that it’s good for your heart, anti-ageing, and can regulate blood sugar.” That’s perfect for our Merlot-loving team members over here!
Manage those stress levels
Too much stress can wear us down and make us both mentally and physically ill. The American Heart Association says that “stress may affect behaviors and factors that increase heart disease risk: high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, physical inactivity and overeating. Some people may choose to drink too much alcohol or smoke cigarettes to ‘manage’ their chronic stress, however, these habits can increase blood pressure and may damage artery walls.” So, what can we do maintain a healthy heart against pesky stress triggers? Exercising, managing weight with a heart-healthy diet, avoiding any smoking, scheduling “me” time, and even drinking antioxidant-rich green tea. Those don’t sound too hard to achieve, right? We can do it!
Beside these suggestions from the team at HealingRadius, how will you keep your heart healthy and happy during this month and on? We’d love it if you will share them with us in the comment section below! And as always, here’s to a healthy and holistic lifestyle.