Did you know your heart beats over 100 thousand times a day and can pump about 1.5 gallons of blood every minute? You may not think about your heart and it’s incredible ability to keep you alive and well, but studies show how paying attention to your ticker can have a lasting effect not only on your health, but also your happiness.
Since February is American Heart Month, we are sharing some tips on how you can show your heart a little kindness…
1. LAUGH MORE
Studies show that your blood vessels relax when you are laughing which sends 20% more blood throughout the body. This means more oxygenated blood is circulated through your body which improves your vascular function.
2. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
Many of us know a lot of numbers by heart like passwords, birthdays and passwords, but knowing your heart numbers could save your life. According to the American Heart Association, by drawing blood, your health care professional can conduct a lipid profile to check your blood cholesterol and glucose test to check your blood sugar.
3. OPEN YOUR HEART
It’s a great idea to commit to self-care. Try and start by organizing your life around what brings you joy like reading, hiking, painting, journaling, gardening or sports. Carve out time during every week to make this happen.
4. REDUCE STRESS
We know this one is easier said than done, but your heart health may depend on it. Studies show that stress can increase blood pressure and cortisol. Taking time to mediate or even finding a moment to do some deep breaths can lower that blood pressure number.
Tip: Make a list of what stresses you out and then pick one or two things on that list to eliminate.
5. PRACTICE KIND ACTS
When we help others, we always feel better. It seems like a contradiction but in fact, being kind to a friend or stranger can boost feelings of confidence, being in control, happiness and optimism.
Simple ways to help:
- Let someone go in front of you in line at the store for no reason
- Smile at a stranger
- Help a Senior Citizen with their grocery bags
- Allow another driver to merge in front of you
We know what feels good and more importantly, we know when we are being kind. Your heart will smile!