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Give a Little Love to Your Heart This Valentine’s Day

By Sara Butler

Your Heart and Valentine's Day

Self-care is everywhere these days. With all that’s going on in the world, self-care does seem as important as ever. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner (and all the sweets that come with it) and February being American Heart Month, it’s time to think about how you can care for yourself and care for your heart all at once.

Here are a few ideas that can help you incorporate heart health into your self-care each day so you can stay healthy both mentally and physically.

Be Mindful

You often hear others talk about being mindful when it comes to things such as diet or exercise, but when you incorporate heart health into it, being mindful can take on a whole new meaning.

To care for your heart, you should be mindful of things such as your blood sugar and blood pressure. Keep an eye on the scale and talk to your healthcare practitioner about how to stay on top of these things at home so that they don’t get out of control and start to have a negative impact on your heart health as well as your overall health.

Change Your Tastes

Your body needs salt to stay healthy but too much salt can be the enemy of your heart health. According to the American Heart Association, Americans eat an average of 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day -- but what they actually need to maintain their body system is about 2,300 milligrams per day. All that salt can raise your blood pressure and put stress on your blood vessels, your kidneys, and your heart.

It’s important to take steps to remove excess salt from your diet but changing tastes can be difficult. Start small by using spices and herbs as substitutes for salt while cooking. Make sure to also get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, beans, dairy, and whole grains in your diet. Processed foods tend to be higher in sodium, so eat as many whole foods as you can to cut down on salt intake in your diet.

Treat Yourself

You deserve a treat. Most people think of a thick slice of chocolate cake or a heaping bowl of ice cream when thinking of a treat, but your idea of a treat may have to change if you’re thinking about your heart health.

If you want to give yourself a food-based treat, try experimenting with different fruits and yogurt to make a frozen treat or smoothie. For non-food treats, take your family on a hike somewhere interesting, have a dance party, or watch a show that makes you laugh together. Spend some quality time with yourself and those you love if you really want to treat yourself!

Get Inspired

Social media can drag you down and make you feel overwhelmed with bad news or negative headlines, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can look to social media as a source of inspiration by following people who work to inspire through their posts and photos. It’s a great way to inject some positivity into your life and improve your mental health -- and mental health is a huge focus of self-care.

There are all kinds of things you can do to take care of yourself and your heart. So why not start something new this month and get inspired. If you need more ideas for heart-healthy activities or want to up your heart health game, then talk to the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic today.

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