February is American heart month so let’s talk heart health. We want you to live a long and healthy life. Whether you have trouble with your blood pressure, stress, or perhaps have a bad habit you’d like to kick, we have some tips and tricks to keep your heart beating.
Seems pretty straightforward, right? A good starting goal is at least 150 minutes a week, but it’s important to find forms of exercise that work for you. Simply walking more, riding your bike instead of driving, and going to the gym a couple times a week can help build more opportunities to be active into your routine. If you need some motivation, there are numerous fitness apps out there that can track your progress – and give you an extra push when you need it most. Remember to always drink plenty of water and eat nutritious foods to keep your energy levels up.
Getting around 7-8 hours of sleep a night can help you maintain a healthy weight. Like good diet and exercise, sleep is a critical component to overall health. Here are some tips for catching more Z’s:
• Stick to a sleep schedule, even on the weekends
• Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual and avoid using electronics before bed
• Exercise daily
• Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light
• Be aware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol and caffeine
Adults age 18-64 should get an average of 7-9 hours of sleep a night, so test it out and see how many hours work for you.
Healthy eating habits start with healthy food choices. We know it can be overwhelming, especially if you aren’t a chef, but the easiest way to eat healthy is to know what to look for at the grocery store and restaurants.
• Add color – include fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack
• Add more fiber into your diet as it helps to lower cholesterol – bananas, avocados, lentils & chickpeas, strawberries, and raspberries are a good start
• Eat smaller portion sizes
• Avoid too much red meat intake
Feed Your Soul
Sometimes we get so busy in our day-to-day lives that we skip out on taking care of our mental health, which is an important factor in keeping our hearts happy.
• Having something to look forward to, like a vacation or special plans with friends
• Write down things you are grateful for
• Show some love to the people in your life – it’s been proven that hugs can reduce stress
• Take some time off to relax and catch up on rest
• Have hobbies/projects to do when you aren’t working
• Spend less time on your phone – read, write, or play music instead
A happy heart starts with a happy mind. Pay attention to how you’re feeling and don’t forget to take care of yourself first and foremost.
From your friends at the Carbondale Fire District, we hope you are having a safe and fun winter. We hope these tips help to keep you in great health and as always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.