February is American Heart Month, a month to focus on heart health as a part of your regular routine. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. As we start thinking about warmer weather, try to build in some heart health routines.
Here are tips inspired by the National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to help move you towards a healthy heart:
- Make a heart healthy snack. Try dipping veggies in this pea and parsley hummus.
- Schedule your annual physical.
- Get up and stretch during long periods of work.
- Try to skip adding salt to your meals for one or two days this month.
- Practice mindful meditation for 10 minutes a day.
- Take dance breaks throughout the day.
- Aim for filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
- Quit smoking.
- Share a joke, video, or meme that makes you laugh.
- Add an extra 15 minutes to your walks or start walking.
- Get your blood pressure checked.
- Try eating fruit instead of dessert.
- Know your family health history.
- Get up during commercial breaks and move around.
- Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
- Eat vegetarian one day this month. Try this great recipe for vegetarian lentil bolognese.
- Try taking the stairs or parking farther from the store.
Written by Rachel Burgun, MPH, RDN, LDN