Ah, February – the month of love, romance, roses, and chocolate. But while you can’t think of February without thinking of valentines and candy hearts, heart health should also come to mind.
Nine years after he had a heart attack, President Lyndon B. Johnson officially instituted American Heart Month in 1964, and the tradition has continued ever since. The month’s purpose is to raise awareness about the importance of heart health and to encourage everyone to make healthy choices.
With heart disease killing more people than all cancer combined, heart health definitely deserves our attention! But don’t let that statistic scare you – in most cases, heart disease is 100% preventable! Can I get a HALLELUJAH?!
Check out five ways to keep your heart healthy and happy:
Get your blood pumping and your heart thumping! According to the American Heart Association, you should aim for 150 minutes of physical activity each week. High Fitness, CrossFit, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), a brisk walk, cycling, hiking, dancing, or Zumba – the options are endless!
Eat Healthy Foods
We can all agree that cupcakes taste better than spinach and that pizza is way more appetizing than broccoli. But even though our taste buds may crave sugar and salt, our hearts need nutrient-rich foods. Veggies, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats are all great options. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that doughnuts and cheeseburgers are off-limits – it just means that moderation is key. Show your heart some love by gulping down Viiva’s Nutrient-Rich, Plant-Based Shake!
“Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps make something of the world.” – Heraclitus
Limited sleep can increase the chances of heart disease, and who wants that? Aiming for 6-8 hours of sleep per night can help your overall health and can lower your chances of heart problems. So, place the sleeping mask over your eyes, turn on some soothing sounds, and slowly slip into a deep slumber.
Deadlines, commitments, errands, conflicts – so many things can consume our minds and heighten our blood pressure. It can all become so overwhelming, so make sure to take time for YOU! Whether it’s meditation, journaling, exercise, etc., engage in an activity that calms and centers you. Do your mental health some good and do your heart some good!
Check Your Blood Pressure
No matter what phase of life you’re in, make sure to monitor your blood pressure! You should get your blood pressure checked every 3-5 years if you’re 18-39. If you’re 40 or older, or if you have high blood pressure, check it every year.
Let your heart be your ultimate Valentine this February and beyond!
– Jesse Bailey
Jesse is Viiva’s Senior Copywriter. She recently graduated Cum Laude from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. She loves hiking, writing, reading, playing her violin, and spending time with loved ones.