In commemoration of International Heart Day 2018, we’re going to share ten simple habits that will start you to on the path to not only better cardiac health, but general wellbeing. Ready? Here we go!
- Take a 10-minute walk. If you don’t exercise at all, a brief walk is a great way to start. If you do, it’s a good way to add more exercise to your day.
- Give yourself a lift. Lifting some things – your water bottle book or a single kilo weight a few times a day can help tone your arm muscles. When that becomes a breeze, move on to heavier items or join a gym.
- Eat one extra fruit or vegetable a day. Fruits and vegetables are inexpensive, taste good, and are good for everything from your brain to your heart, to your bowels.
- Make breakfast count. Start the day with some fruit and a serving of whole grains, like oatmeal, bran flakes, or whole-wheat toast.
- Stop drinking your calories. Do you know those people who always have a soda? Cut out just one sugar-rich soda or calorie-heavy drink can easily save you 100 or more calories a day. Over a year, that can translate into a 5-kilo weight loss.
- Have a handful of nuts. Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and other nuts are good for your heart. Reach for these instead of crisps or biscuits when you need a snack. You can also add them to salads for a healthful and tasty crunch, or using them in place of meat in pasta and other dishes.
- Breathe deeply. Breathing slowly and deeply for a few minutes a day is good – it can help you relax. Slow, deep breathing may also help lower blood pressure.
- Wash your hands often. Scrubbing up with soap and water often during the day is a great way to protect your heart and health. The flu, pneumonia, and other infections can be very hard on the heart.
- Count your blessings. Take a moment each day to acknowledge the blessings in your life. This is one way to start tapping into other positive emotions. These have been linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being, just as their opposites — chronic anger, worry, and hostility — contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.