February is American Heart Health Month and in honor of it we have put together some simple tips to a healthier heart.
3 Simple Heart Health Tips for Everyone
Eat Your Leafy Greens
The darker the leafy greens the better! Think kale, spinach, chard, etc. Dark leafy greens have very high levels of natural nitrates, which get converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is very beneficial for the heart, as it dilates blood vessels, boosts blood flow and can even lower blood pressure.
30 Minutes of HIIT
While all exercise is good for the heart, as it can lower cholesterol, decrease the risk of blood clots, and even reverse heart disease, but research is proving HIIT maybe the ideal workout for those of us who are scrunched for time. Just 30 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) can yield the same and possibly even increased benefits of steady state cardio – think 60 minutes of treadmill time, yuck! Opt instead for at least three weekly HIIT sessions lasting just 30 minutes each. Learn more about HIIT.
Okay we all know that exercise is good for the heart, but even more important is how active you are throughout your normal day. Human beings are designed to move – think back to when we used to have to hunt and gather – this was completely natural. We now live mostly sedentary lives and that needs to change! Think about making small simple changes to move more like taking the stairs, parking farther away, walking instead of driving (if able), etc.
These are just three simple things we all can do to help improve our heart health, but here are a few other things, we’d consider no brainers, to consider for a healthier heart:
- Quit smoking (Seriously it will kill you!)
- Know your numbers – cholesterol, blood pressure, resting heart rate, etc.
- Eat whole natural foods
- Avoid processed foods
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