Healthy Living Tips to Live by
Few holidays are as universal as New Year’s. New Year’s is an opportunity to reflect on your past, enjoy your present, and improve your future.
This New Year’s, think about what keeps you going: your heart. With each year that passes, your heart wears down a little from aging and environmental factors. You may not be able to control time, but you can give your heart a boost by resolving to take better care of it.
Make a resolution your heart will thank you for by following these easy, daily healthy living tips.
A “smooth” way to start the New Year
Good nutrition is at the center of heart health. Foods like kiwi and cantaloupecan help cut some of the cholesterol that builds in your arteries. Other foods like broccoli contain compounds that strengthen artery walls.
However, the produce bowl may seem less appetizing than a candy bar or hamburger. Thankfully, blending fruits and vegetables into a smoothie makes the foods all the more appetizing, while solving some of the logistical issues associated with carrying around vegetables in your bag all day.
Meditation slows down the heart rate, putting less pressure on blood vessels. Additionally, meditation reduces the release of cortisol. When our bodies are stressed they release this compound, which helps cause the “fight or flight” response, decreasing circulation in the extremities and less immediately-essential organs.
Over time, a state of stress reduces the strengths of blood vessel walls. While once dismissed as new-age snake oil, scientists have shown that techniques like deep breathing help remove our bodies from the “fight or flight” response. Deep breathing for about ten minutes a day promotes a lower resting heart rate.
So sit back and relax; your heart will thank you for it.
Walk the dog
If you have a dog, you have a walking companion who will support you day after day. This year, make a pledge to spend at least thirty minutes a day enjoying the great outdoors with Fido.
Walking acts as a low-impact cardiac exercise, providing just enough of a work-out to get blood flowing more efficiently. Walking just thirty minutes a day not only reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, but also boosts your mental health and discourages type-2 diabetes.
Why not just walk alone, without the dog? For people who like them, dogs provide companionship that keeps your heart beating evenly. Not only that, but it helps keep your furry friend well, while giving you daily motivation through cold and wet weather.
Healthy Living Tips for a Lifestyle Change
Each New Year is a chance for a fresh start. While it’s impossible to take back the time we’ve lost, resolving to treat your heart well will pay off in the long run with a longer life and shorter hospital bills. Keeping your cardiac health at its peak isn’t hard if you make resolutions that work with your lifestyle. So don’t be afraid to make that New Year’s Resolution; by this time next year, you’ll feel like a whole new you!
Featured image license: Creative Commons
Jason Kane’s New Years resolution is to help as many people as possible maintain good heart health. He is a blogger for a leading provider of automated external defibrillators.