February Is National Heart Month

Transitions Rehabilitation + Healthcare

February Is National Heart Month And There Is No Better Time Than This To Start Treating Your “Ticker” Better.

We made it through January and we’re halfway through February. For some of us, the New Years resolutions we made are waining a little. Put that aside and jump start your healthy lifestyle again.

February is a great month to take stock in what worked for you and what didn’t. Remember, just a few months and spring-like weather and sunshine will be everywhere. The weather will feel great and we want you to feel great as well. We’ve compiled heart healthy ideas that are easy enough to add to any lifestyle at any age.

Middle weight

Excess belly fat has been proven to cause higher blood pressure and unhealthy blood lipid levels. If you’re carrying extra fat around your middle, it’s time to slim down. Eating fewer calories and exercising more can make a big difference.

Quit smoking

No question, giving up smoking is one of the heart healthiest things you can do, not to mention, your lungs will thank you as well. There are so many aids to help you be a little more comfortable while quitting smoking.

Tweak your diet

A diet rich in soluble fiber can help lower your level of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol.” Sources of soluble fiber include oats, barley, apples, pears, beans and avocados. Try doing one meal a week meatless and add in some of these food choices. Choose to eat fish once a week. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can also help ward off heart disease. Find a flavour that works for you such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring. These are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

A glass of wine in moderation

It has been proven that moderate consumption of alcohol can help raise your levels of HDL, or good cholesterol. It can also help prevent blood clot formation and artery damage. That doesn’t mean you should guzzle it at every meal. Moderation is key!

Decrease salt intake

Reduce the amount of salt in your meals slowly and it’s less likely you’ll notice a big change. You could also try a salt alternative or use barbecue rubs or spices as an option. Spices and rubs are low caloric and will add tons of flavour to almost any meal.

Move more

We’re not saying you have to join a gym or plan a “workout”. Find a way to work activity into your regular routine. A few suggestions. Take the dog for a walk, or if you don’t have a dog volunteer your services to a neighbour or friend. get the housecleaner to remove one room from their routine and clean that room yourself.

Play tourist for the day and take a city walking tour. Try small bought of interval training. Start and stop, then start and stop again. During interval training, you alternate bursts of intense physical activity with bouts of lighter activity.

Take care of your teeth

Good oral hygiene does more than keep your teeth white and glistening. Some research suggests that the bacteria that causes gum disease can also raise your risk of heart disease and there is no downside to taking good care of your teeth and gums.

If you feel like making a change, you’re not alone. Chat with one of our Certified Nutritional Managers and they will help you get started. We’re just a call or email away.

~The Team at Transitions Rehabilitation