Within the last few months, three of my family members have been hospitalized for serious heart conditions. While each incident was met with concern and a bit of fear, our family is certainly no stranger to blood pressure and heart issues. Furthermore, heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in the United States, and with risk factors steadily on the rise, it has never been more important for women to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It’s always important to develop healthy habits and take preventative measures, but when genetics, race, and gender put you at higher risk for illness, it increases the importance of having a hyper vigilant self-care plan. Today, I want to share with you, four healthy habits to relieve stress and nourish your heart. I hope they help you live a healthier lifestyle!
Engage in daily physical activity
Engaging in physical activity has been proven to prevent obesity and relieve stress. Physically active adults tend to have sharper minds and lower risk of loss of mental functions. One of my favorite things to do is walk, hike, and play active video games. I’ve been slacking in this department, but I spend a great deal of time going up and down our stairs. That counts right? Aw, cut a preggo some slack.
Slow Down and Breathe
In our face paced society, we are under constant pressure to do.all.of.the.things. The quickest way to burnout is not allowing yourself enough time complete tasks without rushing through them. Plan ahead and allow enough time to take care of the most important things, including yourself. Meditation, yoga, or even taking a hot bath are wonderful ways to check in with yourself and stay grounded.
Talk and Laugh with family and friends
As much as my introverted self doesn’t want to admit this… having someone to talk to and share truths and triumphs is great medicine. When I am stressed out, I shut everyone out to keep from having to explain a novel’s worth of back story and wallow in my ish. Being under a constant spiral of stress makes it incredibly hard to engage with people, but you have to find people who get it. At the beginning of the new year, I made a goal to reach out and stay in touch with a few people… on my own terms.
Cook at home and chose foods that are healthy
People who cook dinner at home tend to make healthier food choices. In doing so, you resist the temptation of fast food and excess calories. Cooking at home is also easier on the budget which also helps alleviate stress! Am I right? Now, cooking at home doesn’t necessarily mean having to let go of convenience. There are many healthy convenience foods available if you do a little browsing in your local grocer. You can also prep meals ahead of time in batches to cut down on daily meal prep and decision fatigue.
February is American Heart Month. I hope these tips help you live a healthier lifestyle and nourish your hearts!
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