This Valentine’s Day, Be Good to Your Heart

Valentine’s Day is a chance to show love to those who mean the most to you. As a caregiver, you are used to considering the needs of everyone around you, but it’s just as important show yourself some love on this special day! When you’re healthy, you are in a better position to help care for others – not to mention, you’re modeling healthy behaviors for those you care about.

Taking care of yourself means protecting your heart. Did you know more women die from heart disease than any other cause in America? To ensure that you’ll be there to show your family love for years to come, follow these tips to be heart healthy!

  • Have your blood pressure checked at your doctor’s office or local pharmacy. If your pressure is high, talk to your doctor about ways to lower it.
  • If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, do your best to avoid second-hand smoke.
  • Limit the amount of cholesterol you get from eating animal products like meat and dairy. Ask your doctor to check your cholesterol at your next visit.
  • Do your best to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Stay active! Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet according to MyPlate recommendations. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and watch the salt!
  • Limit your use of alcohol.
  • Find healthy ways to manage your stress; try yoga or jogging. And remember, laughter is an excellent stress reliever!

To celebrate Valentine’s Day in a heart-healthy way, skip the box of chocolates and instead try cooking a healthy meal that you and your family can prepare and enjoy together.  Try Healthy Family Fun’s Beef Vegetable Stir-Fry followed by baked Apple Dumplings for a meal that is sure to satisfy the whole family.

Keep up your heart-healthy habits for the rest of the month, in celebration of American Heart Month, and beyond! Remember, heart healthy habits start in childhood, so do your part and set an example for your family to show your love.

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