Are you celebrating National Heart Month?! I started off the month last week with a cardio workout and this week I’m going to share with you a few tips on how you can improve your heart health!
- Eat less sugar. Yep, this is a biggie. I’ve written before questioning if sugar is the new fat because we’re learning more and more just how damaging sugar is to our health. And it’s not just about the obvious sugars. Don’t forget to read your labels and look for hidden sugars, too.
- Eat less white food. Why you may ask? Well, it’s because of the sugar. Every time you eat a piece of white bread I want you to think of eating powdered sugar. I know right?! This is all because of the high starches and sugar that white bread and other white foods convert to in our body….and when we have such a spike in sugar, our body releases insulin. Excess insulin causes our body to store fat, slow our metabolism, release cortisol that in turn can increase heart rate, blood pressure and cause inflammation. Get it?
- Eat more healthy fats. Notice I’m not saying don’t eat fats at all. Just modify and eat more healthy fats instead of the bad ones. 😉 Healthy fats are essential not only our heart health, but our skin, muscles and digestive system. Healthy fats include olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, walnuts and fish.
- Exercise. You knew this was coming right?! Of course, exercise! Exercise strengthens and builds your heart muscle just like any other muscle in your body! Did you know that eating more healthy fats helps to decrease bad levels of cholesterol while exercise with cardio helps to specifically target and decrease your triglycerides. So get your heart pumping!
- Take heart healthy supplements. Just because we simply may not can provide everything our heart needs, i.e. the daily recommended servings of vegetables and because prescription meds along with over the counter meds can deplete our naturally occurring heart heathy minerals, we may need to supplement.
- A couple of my favorites would be an antioxidant like OPC with Pycnogenol to help “slow the rusting” that normal everyday wear and tear causes on our heart and body.
- I also love taking a specific heart supplement like CoQ10. Coenyzme Q10 or CoQ10 is a naturally occurring vitamin in the body that assists the body–and heart–with energy production. According to wikipedia, “those organs with the highest energy requirements—such as the heart, liver and kidney—have the highest CoQ10 concentrations”. And being your heart is a muscle that does not rest, it’s safe to say that it requires a lot of CoQ10!
The hubby and I got our heart rate up this week and worked out together at Hillcrest Fit Body Boot Camp! <3