Healthy Checklist for Ultimate Heart Wellness – Are You Doing Enough?
As we go about our day it is common to forget our health and focus on the many things we want or need to do. We forget to floss our teeth, we pass over the vegetables, or we sit in front of the tv every evening. But when it comes down to it, our heart health (as well as our overall wellness) is critical to living a long and happy life! There are so many things we forget to do or ignore, that it ends up being our hearts that suffer. According to Canada.ca, heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada, and about 1 in every 12 adults are living with heart disease. What many do not realize is that heart disease CAN be prevented! Are you doing enough to make your heart health a priority? Here is your healthy checklist for ultimate heart wellness!
Did you know that your oral health is linked to your heart health? Who would have thought! Recent studies have found that when we don’t floss, the harmful bacteria that gathers in our teeth and sits close to our gums can be transferred into our blood stream. Once there, it follows the pathways and can eventually end up at the heart, causing it harm. The dentists know what they are talking about… go FLOSS!
Add Heart Healthy Ingredients
Leafy greens, avocados, nuts, fish, eggs, and berries are a few of the amazing heart-healthy ingredients that will accelerate your heart wellness! These easy additions into your breakfast, lunch, or dinner can make a huge difference. Did you also know that many of the recipes we use for meals can be made heart healthier with a few small changes? Take a look at the simple ingredient replacements that will help to transform your dish into something healthier for your heart!
Find a Furry Friend
Recent studies have found that those living with a dog have better heart wellness! If you have been considering adding a pup to your family, now might be the time. A dog is a great way to add a calming presence in your life, reduce your stress levels, and keep you active when you play and take them for walks! Remember, if you are looking to add a pet to your life, be sure that you have the time, money, and energy to invest in him/her!
Quit Smoking for Good
This heart wellness tip may be said too many times, but it cannot be stressed enough. SMOKING HURTS YOUR HEART! Take action to quit the habit, seek the support of friends and family, and work towards quitting for good so your heart can get healthy!
See a Counsellor
Did you know that your mental health is linked to your heart health? When we live with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses, our hearts suffer. The release of negative hormones (such as stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisone) puts strain on our hearts and can lead to heart disease or heart failure. Prevent this from happening by seeking guidance and assistance, finding ways to reduce your stress, and working to improve your mental health! Want to know the connection between heart and head? We have the answer here!
Drink More H2O
Say goodbye to the sugar-filled sodas and alcohols, and hello to the liquid of the earth instead – water! Reduce your sugar intake by cutting or reducing your intake of juices and other sugary beverages. Replace these unhealthy drinks with water and watch your extra weight drop, your immune system boost, and your heart get stronger! Need to add some flavour? Find your favourite fruit and infuse it in the water for a flavour-packed and nourishing beverage!
Hit the Pavement
By simply adding a 15-30 minute walk every day you can drastically improve your heart wellness. This doesn’t mean you have to set time aside for a walk, instead take the stairs to your office floor, park at the far end of the parking lot, or walk to the next bus stop. Simply push yourself to move more and stay sedentary less! Need something to motivate you? Get a Fitbit or step tracker and reach 10,000 steps a day!
Take a Deep Breath
Try this now: breathe in for 4 counts. Hold your breath for 4 counts. Release the breath for 6 counts. Do this a few times throughout your day and your heart can reap the benefits. You can take the time to be mindful of your breathing by joining a yoga class or practicing meditation from home. Those moments of calm and quiet will do your blood-pumper some good!
Get Those Precious ZZzz’s
Never underestimate a good night’s sleep! It is found that when we get a full night of quality sleep (a complete sleep cycle!) our hearts benefit. Without good sleep habits, we are at a greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes and higher blood pressure. Turn off the screens an hour before bed, do something to help relax you, use a good pillow, and get those precious zzz’s! Want to know more about your sleep and learn other tips to improve your sleep? Take a look at our sleep blog.
Make these small changes to your daily routine and work towards improved heart wellness. By simply keeping in mind these healthy checklist items, you can make a HUGE impact on the days, months, and years to come!