Practicing good heart health doesn’t have to be a chore! Here are some ways we like to look after our hearts while having fun and even spoiling ourselves a little…
1. Cuddle up with a pet – Have a snuggle session with a furry friend and feel the stress melt away! Recent studies show that pet owners cut their risk of having a heart attack by almost a third.
2. Laughing relieves stress – Just 15 minutes of laughter daily can boost your blood flow by 22 percent and prevent your arteries from hardening. Call a funny friend or watch a comedy every day.
3. Have a glass of wine – Not that we really needed an excuse! Red wine is considered one of the reasons the Mediterranean diet is so healthy for your heart. Low amounts of alcohol together with antioxidants help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol and protecting arteries from damage.
4. Indulge in a little chocolate – Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure, plus it’s delicious and makes us happy! Eat a square or two for dessert or drink some dark cocoa to take care of your heart and taste buds.
5. Catch plenty of Zzzzs – Hit the snooze button once in a while! Rest and and recuperation does a body good. Skimping on sleep leads to exhaustion and irritability, and can promote calcium buildup in the arteries.
6. Take a brisk walk with a friend – Exercise gets the heart pumping and blood flowing, and walking is a great exercise anyone can do. Gather some friends together and in between all the chatting and catching up, the minutes will fly by before you know it!
7. Don’t forget your Omega-3s! – Doctors have long recognized that unsaturated fats in fish, called omega-3 fatty acids, appear to reduce the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association has recommended eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week. Luckily for Kai, he does not belong to a species high in omega-3s, so he’s off the menu!