American Heart Month: 28 Days Toward a Healthy Heart
February is American Heart Month! The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute encourages Americans to consider their heart health and adopt a healthier lifestyle, not just in February, but every month. We encourage you to participate in 28 Days Toward a Heathy Heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and people with heart conditions and cardiovascular issues have an increased risk of severe cases of Covid-19. However, there is a lot that can be done to protect one’s heart and improve overall heart health.
28 Days Toward a Healthy Heart incorporates many aspects of self-care that can improve heart health, such as exercise, healthy eating, keeping a low stress level, getting enough sleep, and checking your blood pressure often. One daily activity listed is to make a heart healthy snack, such as lightly salted popcorn or fresh cut veggies with hummus. Another way to eat healthier is to swap dairy products for their lower fat or fat-free alternatives. You could also try a low sodium diet, as too much salt consumption can lead to high blood pressure.
Many of the daily activities include exercising. Challenge yourself to walk a little more than you did the day before. We recommend finding an exercise buddy to join you on your 28 Days Towards a Healthy Heart, as it can be more fun to work-out with someone else.
Some of the exercises listed could be considered too intense for older adults. For seniors, we recommend lighter aerobic exercises like walking, simple resistance band workouts, or chair yoga. Remember to only do what you are capable of; safety is the most important aspect of one’s health.
With the colder weather still present, try to do something fun and heartwarming this February. We wish everyone a happy American Heart Month!