February is American Heart Month.
At the time of its proclamation in 1964, more than half of deaths in the U.S. were caused by cardiovascular disease, and while we’ve gained a greater understanding of what it takes to manage its risks since then, heart disease still remains the #1 killer of Americans¹.
This year has put even more stress on our hearts. The pandemic pushed out important check-ups due to overburdened healthcare systems, led many of us to unhealthy foods choices and greater alcohol consumption, reduced opportunities for physical activity, and triggered more stress and anxiety overall, all of which negatively contribute to heart disease.
Fortunately, committing to just a few behavior modifications can get us back on track. We asked a few of our RestoreResillience coaches to share the small changes we can apply to the ways we eat, sleep, exercise and destress, to positively impact heart health.
Heart-healthy Tips from our Restore Product Suite Coaches
For this heart health month, my tip is to trust your intuition and listen to your heart. You already have everything you could possibly ever need within you to live your healthiest and most authentic life, so my wish and hope for us all is that this month we can turn inward and draw strength from our own hearts as we move through our days.
My favorite heart-healthy food is avocado! They have been shown to boost HDL (good cholesterol) and help lower LDL (bad cholesterol), plus they’re delicious! I like to throw half an avocado into my smoothies for a creamy texture and more filling breakfast!
A happy heart is a healthy heart! Foster a positive mindset each day by surrounding yourself with people you love, reminding yourself of what you are grateful for, choosing to focus on the good things, and finding laughter and humor in every day!
Lessen the burden on your heart over your lifetime by incorporating physical activity. As you begin to adapt to the changes in exercise intensity, you’ll improve your resting heart rate, lower overall stress, and increase your capacity to do more. A few minutes a day can go a long way!
Breathe from the heart! Deep breathing reduces stress and slows the heartbeat, helping to lower blood pressure. Even one intentional deep breath a day can create space not only in the body, but in the mind as well!
Turn up the beat and "keep your heart pumping!" Moderate intensity dancing is linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Jamming to your favorite playlist can increase circulation, decrease blood pressure and reduce stress!
For heart health, keep it simple and doable with a daily practice: Get out and walk! While moving your body, breathe in the fresh air, observe nature, interact with others. Purposefully take in the brightness of each day.Digital health programs like RestoreResillience connect members to expert coaches everyday via 1:1 text messaging and phone calls, whenever and wherever they need it most. Learn more about how our coaches play an integral role in your employees’ wellbeing, here.