February is American Heart Month! Valentine’s Day may be about paper hearts, but the real hearts are the ones we’re thinking about this month. February is devoted to raising awareness about heart health, and about working towards preventing heart disease all together.
Heart disease is one of the biggest causes of death in America, and there are plenty of steps that you can take in preventing it. Although genetics play a role, diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices go a long way in not only supporting overall health but reducing the risk of heart disease.
Clean eating is a wonderful place to start. When you learn how to eat clean, you’re giving your body the maximum amount of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals it needs to fight disease and illnesses. Exercise is another way to keep your heart healthy. Even making the time to do just 15 minutes of exercise a few times a week will help increase blood flow and support a healthier heart.
Here are a few excellent steps you can take to help improve your health, and reduce your risk of heart disease.
How to Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Cut back on salt.
When you consume too much sodium, it disrupts the balance in your bloodstream and limits the ability for your kidneys to remove water. This causes high blood pressure, putting strain on your blood vessels and your heart.
Instead of thinking about removing flavor from your food, think about all of the new flavors you can add into your meals instead! Easy ways to reduce salt in your diet:
Find ways to reduce stress.
Take time to yourself and make rest a priority. Whether this means finding ways to improve your sleep, starting a meditation practice, or simply enjoying the little things - reducing stress is a wonderful way to support heart health.
Get up, breathe, stretch.
We often get so consumed with work throughout the day that we forget to take pause and check-in with our bodies. Remember to take a moment every now and then to stand up, do some light stretching, and take a couple of big deep breaths. You will immediately feel lighter and more calm.
Stressful things can come at us from all angles. From the appointments we keep adding to our already busy schedules, to notification alerts on phones, to the person that cut us off in traffic. Create room for quiet time to yourself, by turning down some invitations, or by shutting off your phone for a few hours. It’s amazing how much good a little quiet time can do.
Get creative with exercise.
You don’t have to start with a crazy Crossfit plan to get your heart happy and healthy. In fact, going too hard too fast can do more damage than good! Especially in the beginning, start by taking it slow and find creative ways to incorporate more exercise into your daily life.
Do you have an errand that’s within a 30-minute walk away? Put on a backpack, lace up your walking shoes, turn on a podcast, and enjoy the walk. If you have to drive, park a little farther away and get more steps in. Work at an office? Take a 15 minute break twice a day to walk a lap or two around the building. You’ll get more movement throughout your day and reduce stress at the same time.
Make it fun!
Exercise shouldn’t be a burden, it should be something that you do for yourself because it feels good. If you don’t enjoy going to the gym, pick up an active hobby you do enjoy. Try signing up for weekly dance lessons, join a rec league for softball or kickball, or sign up for a cycling club. If you make exercise fun, you’ll be more interested in doing it more often.
This February, start taking care of your health and your heart! Following some of these simple tips will help you not only reduce your risk of heart disease, but also improve your life and happiness overall.
True Citrus products are proven to encourage you to drink more water, so try any of our delicious flavors in your glass or water bottle to stay hydrated all year long.
About True Citrus:
We have a Live True Promise that applies to everything we do: use the best, truest ingredients in our products, and bring our customers the highest quality in citrus flavors, drink mixes, and salt-free seasoning blends. We are also devoted to providing the support and guidance our customers need to be as healthy and happy as possible throughout every facet of their lives.
How True Citrus Goes Above and Beyond:
We have created our line of better-for-you products with your health in mind, and without compromising on taste. You’ll only find simple and clean ingredients in True Citrus products! You will never find: chemicals, sodium, gluten, GMO’s, artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives in our products. You will find: bright natural flavors from real citrus oils, a delightful array of flavors, and products that are either unsweetened, lightly sweetened with all-natural Stevia (sugar-free), salt-free, low calorie, or 0-calorie.