By Jay Morris, UGA Health Promotion graduate
February is here! This means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. But did you know that there’s another reason to celebrate the month of February? This month is American Heart Month. The purpose of American Heart Month is to promote healthy hearts. Keeping your heart healthy is a good plan all year long, but February is the perfect time to learn more ways to protect your heart health.
If you’re anything like me, you find it really hard to stay motivated in the winter months. So here are some cool tips I’ve found to help me stay healthy in the cold.
♥ Check Your Blood Pressure!
Knowing your blood pressure is good start to having a healthy heart. Your blood pressure tells you how hard your heart is working to pump blood in your body. A healthy blood pressure reading for an adult should fall somewhere around 120/80.1 Any higher than that, and you may be at risk for hypertension or high blood pressure. One in three Americans suffers from high blood pressure. High blood pressure can happen if you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, if you have a family history, or if you do not get enough exercise.2
♥ Eat More Fruits and Vegetables!
Fruits and veggies are super important to keeping your heart healthy. Nutrients found in fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease. Nuts, berries, beans, and leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collards can all help to protect your heart. In fact, check out this link for a heart healthy stew that can keep you warm this winter.
♥ Exercise Inside!
Don’t want to leave the house but still want to get your heart rate up? Working out at home gives you the best of both worlds. You can pop in your favorite workout video and follow along or blast some music and dance around the house. Anything that’s fun and gets you moving can help motivate you to warm up and work out from the comfort of your own home!
Don’t forget to log the ways you are keeping your heart healthy on walkgeorgia.org!
1.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016)
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016)