February is Heart Health Month! This month is dedicated to spreading awareness about strategies for preventing heart disease, the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Despite the prevalence of heart disease in the US, it’s preventable with a mix of lifestyle choices, regular check-ups with your doctor, and a full understanding of your family’s medical history. So that means you have no excuse to ignore your heart health this February!
"Despite the prevalence of heart disease in the US, it’s preventable!"
To help you get off to the right start this Heart Health Month, check out these five easy and fun Heart Health Month Activities. All of them are geared towards helping you better understand the ways you can prevent heart disease and how you can prioritize heart health. Plus, some of them are even great activities to do with the whole family!
1. Attend a Clean Eating Cooking Course
Group cooking classes are all the rage recently, and for good reason. Basically, they’re super fun – and they teach you a useful life skill! Plus, taking a cooking course specializing in clean eating will help you learn some heart healthy recipes. Your diet is a huge factor in your heart health, which means putting together a heart healthy diet plan is always great idea! So, grab your partner, best friend, or coworker and bond over a fun, useful, and healthy cooking class.
2. Join an Exercise Group
No, you don’t have to sign up for an extreme daily spin class to take care of your heart. But regular physical activity is essential to maintaining proper heart health. Join the local jogging group that runs through your park nearby, or gather a band of friends to start a daily walk around the neighborhood. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity! Your heart will thank you.
3. Meditate Regularly
Taking five minutes out of your day to meditate can significantly lower rates of stress and anxiety. All you have to do is disconnect from your electronics, your work, and the other distractions in your life, and focus on your breathing. Clear your mind and try to release as much tension as possible as you breathe in and out deeply. When you return to your work or other responsibilities, you’ll see a marked difference in your focus, your stress levels, and your mood. And since prolonged stress is a major cause of heart disease, practicing meditation and mindfulness is an important way to keep your heart healthy.
"Prolonged stress is a major cause of heart disease."
4. Take a CPR Course
Learning CPR will teach you so much about the heart (and heart attacks) that you’ll walk away with a newfound respect for that organ in your chest. Plus, CPR is a skill that could literally mean the difference between life or death someday, so being CPR certified is always a great idea.
5. Schedule a Check-Up with Your Doctor
This one is very important. Regularly (yearly) check-ups with your doctor are the best way to make sure your heart is staying healthy. Your doctor will be able to tell you if you’re predisposed or at risk for heart disease, and give you advice for how to prevent it. With a doctor’s help, you can formulate a heart health plan to keep yourself on track to live a long, healthy life.
At Genexa, we are dedicated to the health of our families and yours. We want to make sure you’re equipped with the healthiest advice and information for taking care of yourself and your family. Sign up for our email list for more content and tips like this! And make sure to check out The Heart Foundation for more information on Heart Health Month 2018.