Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, represented by a universally recognized symbol: the heart. Heart-shaped candies, chocolate boxes, balloons, and cards are traded and gifted on this holiday found at the heart of February.
Yet, it’s important to remember the organ which inspired this iconic shape. Our hearts require special attention and Valentine’s Day seems the perfect opportunity to remind us all about the many ways we can stay “Heart Healthy”, both this month and throughout the year.
Skip the Candy
Chocolates and sweets are the go-to gift when it comes to Valentine’s Day, yet excess sugar is detrimental to overall health. Skip the cavity-causing confections. Opt for flowers or perhaps a thoughtful keepsake instead.
Spend Quality Time
There are many ways to celebrate a relationship. Rather than planning an expensive, calorie-laden dinner and cocktails out, brainstorm an activity you both enjoy. Your loved one will appreciate the thought put into the outing as well as the quality time together.
Brighten Someone’s Day
Whether honoring romance, friendship, or a loved one, Valentine’s are a sweet and simple way to say you care. Remember those who may not have loved ones around them this time of year. An unexpected card or gift will be sure to brighten their day.
Heart Healthy Reminders from The Center for Ideal Health
Get out and move!
Vigorous exercise and staying active is essential to maintaining optimal health. Even a brisk walk can increase heart rate and provide numerous cardiovascular benefits.
Incorporate Healthy Fats
Coconut oils, avocado oils, olive oils, and other healthy fats should be incorporated into any heart healthy diet. These fats help increase satiety, maximize metabolism, protect against heart disease, speed nutrients through the body, and improve fat-soluble vitamin uptake.
Decrease Overall Inflammation
Avoid processed foods and minimize gluten, soy, and dairy to decrease inflammation.
Maintaining proper hydration is vital for muscle function, joint and brain protection, immune health, digestion, mood, and more.
Get Adequate Sleep
In order to function properly, your body needs time to recharge. A good night’s sleep is part of a heart healthy routine, and also improves cognition and memory, combats fatigue, helps maintain a healthy weight, and more.