Caring for you and your loved ones is our top priority at Gifford each and every day. But with American Heart Month well underway, and Valentine’s Day just around the corner, what better time to share some healthy tips for you and yours celebrating the Feast of Saint Valentine? Here are our five favorites:
❤️ Bundle up and enjoy a heart-healthy walk (or snowshoe, or skate around your local ice rink). We all know walking is good for us, but how good is it? According to the American Heart Association, “walking at a brisk pace at least 150 minutes a week can help” us:
- Think better. Feel better. Sleep better.
- Reduce risk of serious illness—like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
- Improve blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Increase energy.
- Improve mental and emotional wellbeing. Reduce risk of depression.
- Improve memory. Reduce risk of dementia.
- Increase bone strength and reduce risk of osteoporosis.
- Prevent weight gain.
If you’re not already a walker, consider starting a new walking tradition this Valentine’s Day.
❤️ Cook a romantic, heart-healthy recipe for you and your sweetheart. Make a meal that’s sure to nourish your loved one and enjoy a cozy night in. You can find heart-healthy recipes at recipes.heart.org. Eating Well also shares dozens of healthy dinner recipes here, as well as 27 heart-healthy recipes starring a Valentine’s Day favorite, chocolate.
❤️ Speaking of chocolate, rather than eat a whole box of Valentine confections in one day, take it slow. Consider treating yourself to one chocolate a day and keep the rest in the fridge to prolong the chocolate love.
❤️ Give hugs and kisses. According to the American Heart Association, “besides burning a few calories a minute, kissing may be good for heart health. A 2009 study published in Western Journal of Communication divided couples into two groups, one of which was instructed to step up their romantic kissing. After six weeks, the enhanced kissers reported less stress, more satisfying relationships—and lower cholesterol. Other research shows cuddling with your significant other may lower blood pressure.”
❤️ Share with your loved ones how you feel about them and how you can support one another’s health, wellness, and fitness goals. Talk about healthy eating choices, ways you can stay active together, and encourage one another to keep appointments for annual checkups.
Gifford can help care for you and your Valentines, with services from Primary Care to Cardiovascular Medicine to treat conditions of the heart. Learn about our providers, services, and locations here at giffordhealthcare.org.