Keeping your heart healthy may seem like a big job, but even small changes in your daily habits can make a big difference. In fact, small changes are much easier to integrate into our lives than larger ones, so they’re more likely to become lasting habits.
In honor of American Heart Month, we asked our Live Well Lamoille bloggers to share one simple thing they do to keep their heart healthy. We hope this list provides inspiration for incorporating heart-healthy behaviors into your life.
Steve Ames: To be honest, I try to run up the stairs as often as possible, and skip elevators or so escalators whenever possible.
Mary L. Collins: I have begun a practice of going to sleep while listening to meditative music. It may seem an odd way to be heart healthy but for me, as I age, I find sleeping is one of the areas I can easily attenuate to be healthier. So, I listen to music that helps me fall asleep. It softly plays on my nightstand at a very, very low volume. I can barely hear it but it is just enough “there” so that I am soothed into sleep. Think of it as “Lullabies for Adults”. Works for me and is completely natural.
Rebecca Copans: Each week I try to take a brisk walk on five days and go to at least one yoga or other exercise class. I find that if I set a goal of trying to eat 5 different colors of fruit and vegetables each day it helps me to eat more fresh foods.
Rorie Dunphey: I take a 30-minute walk during my lunch hour.
Caleb Magoon: I love to drink a cold beer or two once in a while. But boy those calories add up! I have a simple rule I follow: Sweat before you drink. I allow myself the indulgence, but only on days when I am sure to get a little exercise.
Todd Thomas: I religiously check my Fitbit each day to ensure that I get my steps in. I have always been told that 10,000 steps a day makes for an active and healthy lifestyle. My personal goal is to get to 14,000 steps a day. I chose to walk to and from work (and to and from the house for my lunch-break) to help meet my daily goal. If I achieve that daily goal, that gets me to 100,000 steps per week. My body always feels great when I achieve 100,000 steps weekly!
Nancy Wagner: I love to snowshoe with my dog. She’s right there waiting and ready when I get home from work. I have a headlamp and we go out back in the woods.
Michele Whitmore: I exercise regularly and play tennis three times a week. Playing tennis has many health benefits including increasing aerobic capacities. lowering resting heart rate and blood pressure. Additionally, in 2016 there was a study done involving numerous exercises and sports that increase one’s lifespan, tennis was ranked in the top two. This research report also stated that playing a racquet sport, such as tennis, was linked to a 47% reduced risk of death. (More information here.)
Valerie Valcour: I do Tai Chi for 20-30 minutes five mornings a week. It helps ground me and gets my heart rate up just enough to get going.
What is one thing YOU do to be heart healthy? Let us know in the comments section below!