While Valentine’s Day might have had you overflowing with love and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates—there are things you can do to keep your actual heart in shape both physically and emotionally, and it’s never too early (or late!) to start.
As part of American Heart Health month—we’re sharing five simple tips for maintaining a healthy heart and to stay on track to feeling your best every day. The heart is probably one of the hardest working muscles in the human body—it beats about 115,000 times each day and pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood to every part of your body.
But just like any muscle—you need to keep it in shape. It’s crucial for optimum performance and pumps blood (which carries oxygen and nutrients) to other parts of the body which, in turn, assist the functioning that helps your body move, think, grow and repair itself.
Schedule Heart-Pumping Activity
Although long-distance running is a great way to get your heart pumping (just one of the many reasons we’re the first CBD company to sponsor the LA Marathon), going for a brisk walk, swimming, pilates—any moderate-intensity aerobic activity will check the heart health box. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes/week (or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity), preferably spread throughout the week.
Avoid Over-Exerting Yourself Physically
Just as important as taking your heart to the gym is ensuring you don’t overexert yourself physically. While it’s safe to participate in endurance exercise like marathons and cross-training—pace yourself and listen to your body for any signs of ongoing discomfort or shortness of breath. Your heart is tough—but as with any muscle overexertion—it can cause stress on the heart muscle.
Get Enough Sleep
A regular lack of sleep could leave you with more than puffy eyes. Quality sleep on a regular basis is one of the best things you can do for your overall wellbeing and is crucial for heart health. Developing healthy sleep habits helps to slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure while not getting enough sleep can weaken blood vessels and slow down your metabolism.
Calm Your Worry, Breath Deeply
When you’re feeling overwhelmed by tension—your body releases hormones that increase your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. Choose your go-to calming activity whether that’s meditation, cooking, walking, or a steamy shower which also helps to slow your heart rate and relax your entire nervous system.
Take Care of Your Teeth & Gums
One of the more surprising observations in recent years is research that shows that poor oral health can lead to higher rates of cardiovascular problems. Keeping up with your daily flossing and brushing can help prevent bacterial infections in your gums which can cause blood vessels and arteries to become narrowed—which is a risk factor for heart disease.
Your heart affects every part of your body, and your diet, lifestyle, and emotional wellbeing affect your heart health. Go ahead and pick one of these small changes to add to your daily routine for a powerful dose of heart disease prevention.