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February is seen as the month of love. People show their affection towards others by giving them boxes full of chocolates or many kisses. What if there’s someone close to you who could use some loving. How about your heart?

February is also known as American Heart Month. This month is used to raise awareness of heart disease and how individuals can prevent it both at home and with the help of their community. Here are some helpful tips for better heart health.

Get some Zs.

Get some good sleep! Sleep is not just a means to recharge your battery for the next day, it’s also integral for your heart health. Sleep helps your body heal itself. Getting at least 7 hours a night helps fend off serious health problems (Heart Disease) and reduces specific health problems from worsening (Type 2 Diabetes).

If having trouble falling asleep, change up your night routine. Set aside time at the end of your day to clear your mind and take a relaxing shower or bath. Both have been shown to improve sleep quality and help individuals fall asleep faster. More helpful tips for better sleep click here.

Manage Your Stress.

Stress can take a toll on your heart and can impact your blood pressure. Under stress, your body releases hormones that cause your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow. Which increases blood pressure levels. To combat this, sit back and think about what might be causing the stress in your daily life. No matter the cause set aside time to relax and consider stress management techniques. This can be deep breathing exercises or physical exercise to eliminate that stress.

Keep it Moving!

Well, this might seem obvious but exercising helps your overall health. Just as exercise strengthens other muscles in your body, your heart muscle becomes stronger and more efficient at pumping blood. Evidently, the heart can push out more blood with each beat, allowing it to beat slower and keep blood pressure under control.

How might someone go about in strengthening their heart? It’s not as hard as it seems, exercising at least 30 minutes a day can make the difference. The exercise can consist of just walking or more rigorous activities. If needed, you can break down the exercising into intervals. For example two 15-minute or three 10-minute intervals. If you are active and breaking a sweat, you are headed in the right direction.

Drink More Water

Water is fantastic for your overall health and is the best source of hydration that your body needs. A great way to introduce more water is to replace those sugary drink you don’t need. Health experts recommend the 8×8 rule. That means to drink eight 8-ounce glasses per day, which comes out to about half a gallon. It might seem like a ton of water but splitting it up throughout the whole day is achievable. As well, water has no calories and can help maintain a healthy weight.

Remember that changing life habits may be difficult, but if done in intervals, they can be achieved. Always keep an open mind and try out different methods that work best for you. Reward yourself for every positive step you take and remember why you are doing it. Your heart will be cheering for you!

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