Devoting a little time every day to self-care can aid in protecting your heart’s health. Simple self-care, such as moving more and preparing healthier meals, can benefit your heart tremendously!
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, and many Americans remain at risk of developing it, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). “Studies show self-care routines, such as taking a daily walk and keeping doctor’s appointments, help us keep our blood pressure in the healthy range and reduce our risk of heart disease and stroke,” said David Goff, M.D., NHLBI’s director of cardiovascular sciences.
Here are few self-care tips to try every day to make your heart a priority:
Find a moment of serenity every Sunday. Spend some quality time on yourself. Get a massage. Take a day trip. Do something that you truly enjoy!
Be mindful about your health and regularly monitor your blood pressure or blood sugar, if needed. Keep an eye on your weight to make sure it stays within or moves toward a healthier range. Being aware of your health status.
Choose how you want to approach eating healthier. Start small by pepping up your meals with a fresh herb or spice as a salt substitute. Get adventurous and prepare a simple, new, heart-healthy recipe.
Move more. Eat a fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried. Make a plan to quit smoking or vaping. Learn the signs of a heart attack or stroke. You could be having a heart attack if you have chest and upper body pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea, or lightheadedness. You might be having a stroke if you have numbness in the face, arm, or leg; confusion; trouble talking or seeing; dizziness; or a severe headache.
Treat Yourself Thursday
Treats can be healthy! Try making a dessert with fresh fruit and yogurt. Then, stretch your imagination beyond food. Host a family dance party while practicing COVID-19 protocol. Take a few minutes to sit still and meditate. Go for a long walk, or watch a funny show because laughter is healthy. Whatever you do, find a way to spend some quality time on yourself.
Follow inspiring people and pages on social media, or text a friend to help you stick to your self-care goals. Remember to take care of your mental health, too. Reach out to family and friends for support, or talk to a qualified mental health provider.
Inspire others to take care of their own hearts. Talk about your self-care routine with loved ones, or share a selfie on your social media platforms. Having social support and personal networks can make it easier to get regular physical activity, eat nutritious foods, reach a healthy weight, and quit smoking.
Learn more about heart health and heart-healthy activities in your community, and see what others are doing for their heart health, at nhlbi.nih.gov/ourhearts or follow #OurHearts on social media.