How To Guard Your Heart On Valentine’s Day…And Beyond
Hearts will swell with love today, and it’s so beautiful to see. A few hearts will get broken too but that is not all bad – Valentine’s day is a celebration of love and sharing. How can you love your heart today? No, not the abstract ‘heart’ in the sense of your emotions – your actual heart that pumps blood through your body. We’ll help.
If you are going on a date, alone, or with your special someone, here are amazing heart-friendly date ideas
- Eat In:
Eating out is great, but you don’t always know everything that goes into your dish. Restaurants often have fatty, high calorie, high sodium, carb-loaded and sugary meals that can devastate cardiac health. Mix it up and make a healthy, delicious meal at home. Use less salt, less cholesterol rich food items and try not to smoke.
Cooking and eating in, gives you more control over what goes into your food, not to mention that it is a great way to spend a couple of hours with your loved one, catching up and working together to make something you’ll both get to enjoy.
- Workout Together:
Exercising together is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself and each other. Exercising with your loved one can:
- Increase the effectiveness of your workouts
- Strengthen your emotional connection
- Improve you and your partner’s mood.
- Enhance your satisfaction in your relationship
Activities you can both do together include running, hiking, cycling, dancing, swimming, one-on-one basketball or tennis.
- Laugh Together.
They say laughter is the best medicine. Since it is also pleasant and fun, why not have more?
Hitting a comedy show together might be a great idea! Amusement park rides, bowling or karaoke are other fun ways to get the laughter out. Spending time together laughing can be good for your heart and your relationship, helping to decrease physical and emotional stress and leaving you both relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
Laughter may also protect you against heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems as it improves the blood vessel function and increases blood flow. One research in Norway observed that people with a great sense of humour outlived those who don’t laugh as much and the difference was especially notable among those fighting cancer.
To protect your heart not just for one day, but for the next decade even– here are some helpful tips
- Stay smoke-free
Gradually and ultimately quitting smoking is of the best things you can do to protect your heart.
- Control your blood cholesterol.
Your body needs cholesterol, a fatty substance carried in your blood, to be healthy, but an imbalance of cholesterol can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
You can control your blood cholesterol levels by:
- Eating heart-healthy meals, mostly food rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish and sea foods.
- Eliminate trans-fats from your diet like those in margarine, cookies, crackers and cakes.
- Eat more fibre-rich food like oatmeal, beans, apples and pears
- Reduce saturated fats found primarily in red meat and full-fat dairy products.
- Manage your blood pressure
Blood pressure isn’t usually something you can feel. Make sure to check regularly, if it’s too high, it needs to be treated.
- Be physically active
Regular, moderate physical activity is great for your heart’s health and unsurprisingly, the best time to start is now.
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Keeping a healthy weight can decrease the risk of heart disease and other health problems.
It is helpful to know your body mass index as a useful indicator of healthy weight.
Whatever your plans are for today, we wish you a lovely, hearty Valentine’s Day!