The month of February marks the beginning of the end of winter (unless we get another Beast from the East in March this year…) and celebrating the most romantic day of the year – of course, Valentine’s Day.
Whilst there’s definitely love in the air, here at Bigvits, we urge everyone to think about some self love too, especially when it comes to the heart. Besides, if you don’t look after your heart, how are you going to be able to give it to your Valentine?
So, here’s the Bigvits guide to loving your heart…
We’re always being told to move more, but if we’re new to exercise, it can be difficult to know where to start. The NHS recommends 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week, plus two sessions of weight bearing exercise.
So that’s three brisk half hour walks and two sessions of yoga a week, which doesn’t sound as daunting as joining a gym and feeling embarrassed that you don’t know how to even turn on a running machine!
Exercise doesn’t have to mean running endless miles or being an expert yogi. Get your heart pumping fast by brisk waling and you may even work your way up to regular jogging. Your heart will definitely thank you for it.
Once you begin walking/jogging/playing tennis/doing yoga, you’ll feel amazing. (If not during, you definitely will after, trust me.)
A Balanced Diet
However, we describe our diet, be it omnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian, we all need to make sure we eat enough fruit and veggies.
Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants which help support a healthy immune system. The healthier your immunity, the better prepared your heart is to pump away for years to come.
We should avoid eating foods that are bad for cholesterol too, such as fried, fatty and processed foods. Now and again, they’re fine, but they should be thought of as a treat. The same goes for sugary foods. Too much and we risk putting on weight and becoming obese. This can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Short term stress energises us temporarily, but chronic, long term stress is bad news, particularly for heart health.
Modern life often means that stress is inevitable, but how we deal with it can make all the difference. Being mindful and doing things we enjoy can help. And they don’t have to be big things either. Simply waking up 15 minutes early to have time to have a morning cuppa outside to watch the sunrise is a great start to a hopefully relatively stress-free day.
Make a promise to yourself that you won’t create unnecessary stress either. If someone is doing something you don’t agree with, and it’s not directly impacting you, let it go. Spend more time with those who make you happy, and less with those who make you feel uptight or tense.
Try Some Heart Happy Supplements
We could all do with a little top up of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, even if we follow all of the advice above. Fish oils for example contain omega 3, an essential fatty acid important for heart (and brain) health.
Astaxanthin is a natural remedy that is packed with heart healthy antioxidants, ideal for good cardiovascular health and co enzyme Q10, or ‘natures spark plug’ also helps to support a healthy heart. If you have high cholesterol, you could try red yeast rice, a traditional Asian remedy, that has the potential to naturally lower cholesterol.
Happy heart, happy you!