Here’s to a healthier, happier version of you!

Here’s to a healthier, happier version of you!

#UpliftingMessage

 

Welcome February, the month of love. Everywhere you look, stores are filled with candy hearts, sentimental cards, balloons and gifts. In addition to all the love-themed festivities around Valentine’s Day, February is also American Heart Health Awareness Month, a time where Americans are encouraged to commit to small changes that can lead to a lifetime of optimal heart health. Read on for a few ways you can show yourself (and your ticker) some love this month.

 

Incorporate Heart Healthy Ingredients –

Whether you are a serial snacker, a picky eater, or anything in between, adding healthy ingredients to your diet does not have to be complicated. Try adding just one extra serving of fruits or vegetables a day, snacking on a handful of nuts rather than chips or cookies, switching out red meat for chicken/fish one or more nights a week, and adding whole grains, such as whole-wheat toast, oatmeal or bran flakes to your breakfast routine. Small changes can go a long way towards creating healthy, life-long habits.

Sit Less, Move More – The heart is like any other muscle, it needs movement to help it work properly. Moving just 30 minutes a day has been shown to lower blood pressure while improving sleep, physical and mental health. If you don’t have time for an uninterrupted workout, try breaking up your day with movement by setting an alarm to remind you to stretch once per hour, take the stairs rather than the elevator whenever possible, sit on a stability ball while at your desk, move/dance while you cook, or stand up/do bodyweight exercises during commercial breaks while watching TV.

Count Your Blessings and BREATHE – Stress can lead to increased inflammation in the body, which can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease. Taking a few moments each day to acknowledge the blessings in your life while taking deep, slow breaths can help you tap into positive emotions and calms your central nervous system, both of which have been linked to better health, a longer life-span and greater well-being.

Here’s to being the healthiest, happiest version of YOU all month long and beyond!

 

Need community connections or someone to talk to? Good Samaritan Ministries (GSM) is here to help! We provide 1-1 counseling, therapy groups, counselor training, core-education, and special events locally, online, and throughout 200 centers nationwide. Our services are covered by loving donations and volunteerism. Call 503-644-2339 or visit gsmusa.org to learn more or get involved today.