Every February, we celebrate American Heart Month. With heart disease as the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, this month is dedicated to raising awareness to ways we can optimize our heart health and quality of life. Here are 4 simple tips to keep a healthy Valentine’s Day muscle (aka YOUR HEART!):
MOVE! – Exercise isn’t the only type of movement that will keep you healthy. Movement includes keeping your body in motion consistently for a sustained period of time. Whether your movement of choice is a leisurely walk on a local nature trail, gardening, walking your dog, or sprinting up Ben Hill Griffin Stadium steps, living in motion will ensure that you are keeping your blood flowing and your heart pumping to make it stronger for longer!
SNOOZE! – Sleep is often taken for granted. What we may not realize is that all of the time spent awake and moving is very fatiguing on our mind, body and, most importantly, our heart. The time we spend asleep is when our body is allowed to rest and recover from the previous day’s waking hours. Disruptions or decreased sleeping time can impact how we operate the following day. To make sure that you are adequately recovering, it is recommended to get about 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep per night. (PRO TIP- Check out GatorWell’s College Sleep Questionnaire to learn how to get better sleep.)
PAY A VISIT! - Visit your doctor annually to make sure you are aware of your health status. If it has been a while or if you have never had a blood test done, February is a good time to start. Knowing your blood lipid level is important information that can educate you about your heart health.
CELEBRATE YOURSELF! – Pat yourself on the back every time you make a choice that will positively impact your heart and your health. You deserve it!
- Cory Bennett, Coordinator for Fitness Programs