In the spirit of Heart Month, SOMC is encouraging you to try out these heart-healthy tips in the month of February.
Quit smoking! Smoking is one of the top, controllable risk factors for heart disease – so don’t do it. If you smoke, call 740-356-2720 and ask about SOMC’s free smoking cessation classes.
Knit a scarf or solve a jigsaw puzzle – anything that puts your hands to work and your mind to rest. It relieves stress and makes a huge difference for your heart.
Just dance. It doesn’t matter what music moves you, dancing raises your heart rate, burns calories and makes for a heart-healthy exercise.
Go fish! Studies have shown that including fish high in omega-3 fatty acids into your diet reduces the risk of heart disease by a third or more. If you worry about the risk of mercury content or other contaminants in fish, consider that the Mayo Clinic has stated that the healthy benefits of fish outweigh the possible risks of exposure to toxic elements.
Laugh out loud. Not on your keyboard or cell phone, but in real life! Laughing is good for your heart, so take some time for something that tickles your funny bone.
Get up and move. New studies show that sitting for long periods of time could shorten your life expectancy regardless of your weight. Being a couch potato has an unhealthy influence on blood fats and blood sugar. At the office, try to work in “get up” breaks and go for a stroll.
Eat some chocolate – you read that right. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that rich, dark chocolate can help stave off heart disease.
Consider pet therapy. Pets do more than give us unconditional love, they also offer numerous health benefits. Studies reported by the National Institutes of Health show that owning a pet can lower the rate of dying from heart disease and possibly improve heart and lung function.
Brush up! Good dental hygiene does more than keep your smile bright and white, it also affects your overall health. Harvard researchers believe that several types of cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease, may be connected to oral health.
These tips, and others, can be found at healthline.com. For more information about how you can live a heart healthy lifestyle, visit somc.org/heart.