This year on Valentine’s Day, we’re dedicating this post to improving heart health. The best way to stay healthy is having a smart lifestyle — especially as we get older! Here are a few fun activities you can engage on Hearts Day to make sure you’re keeping your lifestyle healthy, today and every day.
Fun Activities to Maintain a Healthy Heart
1. Get Moving
Aerobic physical activity or cardio is a great option for seniors looking to boost heart health. And the best part? You don’t have to jog! Cardio is easy to do and inexpensive. Plus, it’s a great way to spend family time. Could a neighborhood walk with your kids really improve your physical health? Yes!
To get the ball rolling, here are some moderate-intensity exercises for your heart and lungs that you can do to improve heart health.
- Brisk walking
- Swimming or water aerobics
Just remember to speak to your doctor before you start an exercise program.
2. Spend Time With Your Pet
Pets have been proven to reduce stress, which is one of the leading causes of heart health problems. Pet owners demonstrate lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, which reduces their risk of heart attack. During American Heart Month, give your pet extra cuddles, take a walk for some aerobic physical activity, or adopt a furry friend. Your heart will definitely appreciate it. Woof!
3. Treat Yourself to Some Chocolate
Believe it or not, one of the yummiest ways to improve your heart health is by eating chocolate. Although nutritionists agree that dark chocolate has the most health benefits, there is a study showing that all kinds of chocolate may help lower your risk of heart problems. If dark chocolate is your favorite sweet treat, you’re in luck. Dark chocolate contains less sugar, a higher ratio of cocoa, and more antioxidants. Eating chocolate helps you balance your cholesterol!
4. Have a Laugh
Go to see a comedy show, laugh with friends, or watch funny videos! Laughter tends to reduce blood pressure and a sense of humor is even better for your health. There is research showing the greater your sense of humor is, the lower the risk you have of developing heart disease. Laughing at humorous things also helps battle against distressing emotions like depression, anxiety, and anger, all of which increase the likelihood of heart problems. The saying “Laughter is the best medicine” truly does hit home with this heart healthy activity.
5. Eat Breakfast
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it turns out that this morning meal can help you for years to come. A study of over 4,000 participants found that those who get less than five percent of their daily calories from breakfast (100 of the 2,000 recommended for women) were more likely to have clogged and damaged arteries than those who eat a high-energy breakfast (over 400 calories for women). Grab your fresh fruit, whip up some eggs, and improve your heart health with a tasty breakfast every day.
6. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Blissful, uninterrupted sleep is a necessary activity we all enjoy after a long day. You wake up feeling rested and energized after a good night’s sleep and your body benefits from it, too. Not getting enough sleep can lead to negative side effects. According to a 2017 study of nearly 13,000 adults, researchers found that those experiencing poor sleep had a 71% higher risk of ischemic heart disease and a 45% higher risk of stroke. There’s an easy solution, folks. Get those eight hours of shut eye and you’ll improve your heart health, as well as your memory and concentration.
7. Have a Hot Bath
Soaking in a hot bath is an effective way to relax your mind and rejuvenate your body. Bathing has also been found to reduce stress and improve your heart health. Recent studies have shown that people who take at least five hot baths a week have significantly lower markers of atherosclerosis and cardiac loading. Basically, five baths a week can improve your cardiovascular system, including circulation.
For today and the months to come, enjoy a daily bath with all the fun add-ons like candles, bubble bath products, and music. Just make sure you’re staying safe in the bathroom. A walk-in tub is a great way to increase ease-of-use and lower your chances of falling.
There’s no better time to start taking care of your health than Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t have to be a chore either. Improve your heart health with these fun activities that can help you be healthier and happier for the years to come.
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