You may be used to seeing hearts all February long - we all are. Sure, Valentine's Day is a fun holiday to celebrate. Who doesn't enjoy seeing people spread love and kindness onto their friends, family members, spouses and even perfect strangers (3 cheers for random acts of kindness!)?
Feeling the L-O-V-E is so uplifting, especially right now. BUT, we're here to highlight another awesome reason to celebrate hearts in February... It's Heart Health Month!! Below we're listing a few tips to maintain a healthy heart. Putting yourself and your health first is super important. Here are some ways we recommend making heart health a priority - heck, your heart needs some love, too!
Getting a good night's rest is extremely important. The body recovers while you are sleeping. Sleep is an opportunity for your body to take a load off and to eliminate any of the stress it's put under during the day. Developing a sleep routine for the 30 - 60 minutes before it's lights out will help you get the rest you need. Shut down your device. Settle in with a cup of tea. Turn on the diffuser. Just make sure you are making sleep a priority. Your heart will thank you.
We know, we know - this is much easier said than done, but always operating under an umbrella of stress will eventually take it's toll on your heart. This can be especially challenging during a pandemic, but it's also more important now than ever. Go for a walk. Develop a calming breathing routine. Download a meditation app. Take a warm shower. Ask for help! There are a ton of ways to slow down and take a minute to find your center - if a minute is all you have, it's better than nothing. Aim for 15 to 60 minutes a day of calming exercises that work well for you. Put it on your calendar. You deserve calming moments and your heart actually needs them.
GO TO THE DOCTOR
This seems obvious but it's super easy to ignore your own health by prioritizing well, everything else. Maybe you need to take the kids to the pediatrician and the dentist and the eye doctor. Maybe you have a demanding profession. Maybe there are just other things you would rather do. Sound familiar? Going to your doctor for an annual health check is not something you should put on the back burner. Regular blood work and health assessments can determine your heart's health trajectory. Don't let something you can't see go undiagnosed because you were too busy for your yearly well visit.
If you're reading this and saying "Um, duh!" we don't blame you. This is just an opportunity for us to encourage you to make (mostly) healthy, real-food choices when you are choosing to fuel your body. That said, we stand firmly against diet culture and believe you deserve whatever it is your body is telling you it needs. Listen to your tummy and your heart and make choices that will treat them both well for the long haul.
You must have known this was coming. We're obviously not going to let you go without making sure you understand the benefits of compression and heart health. Did you know we have sixteen miles of veins running through our bodies? Our heart pumps blood into these veins, which carry blood throughout our body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to our muscles. Once these deliveries are complete, the blood returns to our lungs and heart to be enriched…and the process starts all over again.
Certain situations and medical conditions challenge this process, causing blood and fluids to pool in our ankles and feet. Graduated compression socks can help prevent and combat some of these circulatory-related issues. So, rock your compression socks (Lily Trotters to be exact!) for a happy & healthy heart.
All of the above are just a few things you can do to maintain a healthy heart. None of them sound particularly challenging alone, but it's putting them all together to create a sustainable healthy lifestyle that will make a big impact on your heart health overall. We all get off track. It's important to make YOU a priority and not tomorrow or at the end of the month or maybe by your next birthday.... don't set an arbitrary timeline - start taking heart health seriously now! You got this!