Heart health is a goal that can be practiced year long, even if heart health is not a top concern for wellbeing.
- One step at a time: Aim to achieve one goal at a time, and incorporate small changes. Look for ways to sneak some healthier options onto your plate or find ten minutes in the day to stretch your legs between meetings. Simple changes add up.
- Plant Protein: Lentils, beans, and legumes – there are so many varieties to choose from, and they are rich in fiber and low in fat that can keep your heart in good shape.
- Move More: Find a version of the exercise that you can do and involves being physically active. There are so many benefits to getting physical in addition to heart health such as getting in shape, to better mood, sleep, controlling your blood sugar, and so on.
- Give yourself a break: Stress can be hard on the heart. Find ways to destress – meditation, yoga, pets, volunteering, gardening, connecting with family and friends, therapy if needed.
- Plan your meals and snacks: Think about your meals and snacks ahead of time. Some like to plan for a whole week. If that is not your style, plan your meals and snacks so that you have something to get to when you are hungry. Thus, you can avoid eating highly processed, high fat, high sugary stuff that is not heart-healthy nor good for overall well-being. Add more whole grains, fruits, and veggies that are anti-inflammatory foods to your diet.
You don’t have to be a chef or a nutritionist to plan your meals. Focus on simple, manageable goals that you can take on day by day. Adding heart-healthy ingredients to your meals and taking care of yourself the best you can are both simple, effective ways to stay healthy (which is heart-healthy as well) all year long.