We all need to take care of our hearts…both physically and emotionally.
If your heart needs some emotional stability or exercise, making plans with a friend or relative for coffee or a walk or dinner is a great start. The event doesn’t have to cost much…put more time into choosing WHO this lucky person will be that gets to spend time with you. Make sure it is not someone who is toxic to you, someone that makes you feel badly about yourself, or someone that makes you feel jealous. The person that you are seeking for this encounter might be your best friend…a person that believes in you and loves you and brings out the very best in you.
Ok, did you do that yet? Call, email, Facebook, Tweet…set it up!!!
Now on to the physical…if you do not take care of your heart from a physical standpoint, nothing else you do matters. If you are brilliant, a great singer, or possess any other spectacular qualities but your heart fails, you will be robbed of all those other characteristics that you are so proud of!! Muy importante!! Most cardiologists agree that the number one exercise that you can do for your heart is to walk 30 minutes every day. Hurricane? 30 minutes. Exhausted? 30 minutes. Bad hair day? 30 minutes. You can work up to MORE of course, and you can vary it with hills, inclines, speed, and more to keep it fresh and challenging. But what are we committing to? 30 minutes. Every day. If you don’t have time, you don’t have time to live because this is that important. You will feel more energetic, less stressed, and more able to tackle the tasks of daily living…like keeping your heart pumping. You can do it!!
It is always a good time to optimize our meals towards protect our tickers. Try adding some of these “anti-inflammatory” foods to your meals – they will help minimize risks of heart disease and promote a strong cardiovascular system to help you achieve optimal health.
- Nuts, especially almonds, walnuts and cashews, contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Aim to eat a moderate portion – about and ounce and a half – every day.
- Fresh garlic. Not just for pasta, this medicinal gem has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Use one or two raw or lightly cooked cloves a day. I like to add a fresh, chopped clove in to a nice, warm vegetable soup.
- Green tea is wonderful as it provides EGCG, a polyphenol that may help to moderate inflammation and lower cholesterol. Sip a cup of heart-healthy green tea in place of your morning coffee or relax with a hot cup in the evening to complete your day.
- Soluble fiber rich foods such as beans, legumes and whole grains. Soluble fiber has such a powerful cholesterol-lowering effect on the body. Aim for one or two servings per day. Top salads with them or add in to your favorite side dishes.
- Whole soy protein. such as edamame or tofu, (not the manufactured burgers & crumbles) is a great replacement for animal protein each day. I know this one isn’t going to be for everyone – but maybe this month – why not just give it a try. It has been shown to lower levels of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid linked to increased risk of heart disease. Kids especially love eating the edamame pods.
You can do it! Small changes every day will pay off BIG in the long haul.