Make 4 Lifestyle Changes During American Heart Month
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of both women and men. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.
The good news is that healthy choices can help manage or prevent heart disease. Many of us set up a New Year’s Resolutions in January related to lifestyle improvements, such as eating healthier, exercising more, and reducing stress. These lifestyle changes not only help you, but creates a framework that your children will take into adulthood. February Heart Month provides another opportunity to keep those positive lifestyle changes.
Starting with American Heart Month, make weekly lifestyle changes:
- Week of Feb. 2: Start Walking - Add 30-minute walk a day starting this week and include your family, dog and/or friends. If you’re a solo walk, listen to a podcast or audiobook… and the time will fly!
- Week of Feb. 9: Start Eating Healthier - Prepare your grocery list ahead of time (see tips here), don’t shop when you’re hungry and plan your meals ahead of time to ensure healthier options. Remember, fast food should be a treat, not a lifestyle.
- Week of Feb. 16: Track Your Heart Stats - With a friend or family member, start logging your blood pressure (blood pressure machines are cheaply purchased at drug stores and online), weight goals/loss, and physical activity. Keep each other accountable and share your successes.
- Week of Feb. 23: Manage Stress, Sleep and Bad Habits - Adding to your lifestyle changes the first three weeks of February, start managing your habits this week. Stick to the same bedtime every night and remove distractions from the bedroom (clutter, electronic lights, etc.). Try a stress-reducing activity, such as yoga or meditation, together before bedtime. To eliminate bad habits--such as smoking--tell everyone you know you’re quitting smoking and ask for support.
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