February isn’t only a month to think about flowers and chocolate hearts. Sure, Valentine’s Day is about sweethearts, but February is also Heart Month, which means you need to be thinking about keeping your own ticker in tip-top shape. Here’s five tips from Glass Doctor® to keep your heart happy and healthy:
Eat More Fish
A couple of servings of fish every week will reduce your risk of heart disease. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which work hard for your heart health. And no, the fried catfish basket is not the way to go. Salmon and tuna, prepared “clean” with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon juice will brighten up your diet and make your heart happy.
Use Olive Oil
In addition to that great fish recipe, olive oil can be used in a variety of ways. Instead of pouring store-bought dressing on a salad, drizzle a little olive oil and red-wine vinegar instead, or squeeze a lemon wedge over your salad. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, which helps lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol without reducing HDL (the good) cholesterol.
Exercising three or four times a week for at least 30 minutes is a great way to be good to your heart. Getting your heart rate up with some good cardio exercises is great, but remember to utilize resistance training as well. Strengthening your muscles in addition to cardio exercise will make your heart strong, healthy and happy. If you’re starting an exercise regime for the first time, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor to get his recommendations on the ability, pace and frequency at which you should start.
Clean Your Mouth
It may sound odd that brushing your teeth would have an effect on your heart, but more and more studies are showing that several cardiovascular diseases may be connected to the health of your teeth and gums. So brush your teeth well and visit your dentist regularly.
Raise a Glass
Moderate alcohol consumption (a drink a day) has been shown to raise those good HDLs and strengthen arteries. Red wine is believed to be one of the best heart-friendly beverages as the higher antioxidant levels in the red wine provide an additional benefit.