Sometimes simply taking care of ourselves can feel like a chore. To help direct our focus, this month’s theme is heart health! Taking wellness step by step can eliminate those feelings of being overwhelmed. To help get you started, we want to take you through a ‘day in the life’ of living with a healthy heart in mind.
Start off your day with a heart healthy breakfast. A classic and great option is oatmeal. Oatmeal may seem like a boring or ‘played out’ meal, but there are many different ways to jazz up your next bowl. If you are looking for inspiration, check out Feel Good Foodie’s blog post about how to cook that perfect bowl of oatmeal, and a few recipes with toppings as well! If you are still feeling hungry before lunch, pack some berries and walnuts to snack on! Both ingredients for a heart healthy diet.
Getting up to move throughout the day is another integral piece of having a heart healthy day. How many times did you get up and move this morning? Instead of taking your morning break in the break room, get outside and take a stroll around the block. Who knows, you might even see something new in your neighborhood!
Heart Health Tip: Keep an eye your sugar intake. Sugar is in many of the foods and drinks we have every day. Make a conscious effort to reduce how much sugar you consume. Try a mid-morning snack like a serving of almonds or veggies and hummus instead of one of the cinnamon buns your coworker brought! You might try something you really like and find yourself feeling better throughout the day without the extra sugar.
Although you might be tired of having a salad for lunch, leafy greens (especially spinach) are great for heart health. If you’re looking to add another recipe into your rotation, try this Spinach, apple, walnut, and feta salad by Kitchn.
If you are craving something sweet throughout the day, have a piece of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, which can help boost heart health. Make sure you are eating dark chocolate with a cocoa content of a least 70%
Heart Health Tip: Don’t forget to drink enough water. Drinking water is an extremely important component to living a heart healthy life. If you are struggling to drink enough water, buy a new fun water bottle! Having something new to use will help you feel excited about drinking water, plus it is also good for the environment.
Switching up your regular gym routine can help to inspire and re-motivate you! If you’re looking for something new, try out a different exercise class. Your gym might already have classes that they offer, but if not, look into local studios in your area. If going to a new class alone makes you a bit uneasy, bring a friend along. You can make it a whole evening by stopping to get a healthy snack together afterwards. If you are looking for more heart healthy exercise inspiration, read our blog post about the different types of exercises that are good for the heart.
Do you ever find yourself craving pizza, but don’t want all the carbs that come along with it? This recipe by Healthy Helper is both simple and delicious, but also heart healthy! For your next pizza night, try out this cauliflower crust pizza. Even better if you incorporate garlic, olive oil, and tomatoes to the recipe – these are all ingredients that make up a heart healthy diet.
Heart Health Tip: Limit how often you eat out. Although it is tempting to grab take-out on your way home from work, food from restaurants often contain high amounts of salt, and salt is not a part of a heart healthy diet. Cooking and eating at home allows you to control exactly what you are putting in your food and how big your portion size is. If you are really craving your favourite meal from your favourite restaurant, try to recreate it at home! If cooking is not really your thing, check out a meal kit delivery service. These companies create the recipes and deliver the ingredients right to your door. This is a great way to get into cooking if it is not something you currently do.
Along with all the above activities, we also want to encourage you to do something that is good for the heart – and by this, we mean something that makes you happy. What feeds your soul? Try to plan something into your daily routine that makes your heart happy. If you want some inspiration for simple ways you can take care, check out this blog post from last month.
Lastly, we want to leave you with the following message. We know a ‘perfect’ heart healthy day might not be attainable every day, or even once a week for that matter. We want to take this opportunity to share with you lots of tips and tricks to help live a healthier life. If you incorporate one thing from this list into your daily routine, you are already taking a step in the right direction.
Feeling like you don’t know where to start? A massage is a great way to help reduce your stress levels and give your heart a break. A Personal Health Plan from Saskatchewan Blue Cross includes coverage for health practitioners such as massage therapists and chiropractors, and can also provide coverage for vision, dental and prescription drugs. Visit our website today to learn more.