Practical Steps Towards Heart Health
February is a month to celebrate love, and this year we are focusing on self love. We can buy ourselves flowers and make chocolate truffles just for us, but the ultimate act of self love is taking care of ourselves inside and out. This year, we are starting with heart health!
Whatever your size or shape, you are worthy of love — and loving yourself can look like loving your physical [and metaphorical] heart!
Part of caring for your heart can look like staving off stress. We know what you may be thinking, easier said than done! Chronic stress has been correlated with risk for cardiovascular disease, so doing what you can to chill out can serve both your heart and mind. One of the most accessible ways to care for your stress is by intentionally introducing mindfulness to your life. Living mindfully keeps you in tune with your body’s needs and sensations to help you in physical and regulation.
Mindfulness can look like intentional practices such as yoga and meditation, or as simple as focusing your awareness on the present moment — stopping to consider your thoughts and emotions. Over time, connecting with yourself can create a habit of living more intentionally and reinforcing self regulation skills. These skills can promote relaxation, relieve stress, and create margin in your life to take better care of yourself inside and out!
Learn more about mindfulness and eating intuitively here!
It’s no secret that exercise can help with heart health, but the word “exercise” can be daunting for those of us who may not feel athletically inclined. The great news is, any sort of movement counts! Even small spurts of movement can still decrease blood pressure, lower anxiety, improve quality of sleep, and lower risk for cardiovascular disease.
Before you get caught up in tracking minutes, miles, and calories, think about the small changes that you could enjoy. Have you always wanted to try a dance class? You keep hearing your neighbors talking about pickleball? Want to walk down the street to get a better view of the sunset? Those all count towards caring for both your heart and mind.
Find more information about how flaxseed promotes heart health here!
If you’ve spent much time on our blog, you know that we are big fiber fans! Not only can regular fiber intake improve digestive health, but fiber’s benefits extend beyond the gut.
Boosting with fiber can help with lowering total and LDL cholesterol, which can decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease. Thankfully, whole milled flaxseed is a great source of fiber and we have plenty of recipes to help add it to your lifestyle.
You can read all about fiber and how much you need here!
Great news for those of us who love an early night or sleeping in — sleep can be an important factor in protecting against heart disease. Sleep quality’s correlation with risk for heart disease was studied in a group of women, indicating that poor sleep quality may be correlated to a risk of heart disease.
Researchers are still working to conclude whether the poor sleep quality or the risk for heart disease came first. However, it was clear that women who lived lives that were conducive to higher quality of sleep were at a lower risk for heart disease — which is yet another indication that “wellness” and caring for yourself is holistic and multifaceted.
Learn more about the latest findings in women’s health here!
You can’t forget that when you’ve munching on a delicious recipe packed with flaxseed, you’re also supporting your heart health! Nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds are full of omega-3s which have been shown to lower blood triglycerides and lower risk of heart disease. Getting a daily dose of omega-3s can be an easy — and tasty — way to take care of you!
Whether you’re celebrating the season of love or Heart Health Month, there are plenty of reasons to prioritize taking care of yourself. Take your time and give yourself grace — there’s no such thing as perfection in health. Take baby steps towards goals that are accessible and feel good to you — you’ve got this!
For more tips on caring for your heart, check out this post!