Love Your Heart

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Kristin has been working in the natural products industry for over fifteen years as an expert in holistic beauty products, nutrition and supplements. Also a fitness instructor, she is passionate about the mental and physical benefits of fitness and encourages people to reach their goals while having fun. She just completed her first book, a memoir. Follow her on Twitter @kristinjoylavin or visit her website: www.kristinjoylavin.com

February is Heart Month but not just because of Valentines Day. It is a time for heart health awareness.  Our hearts are the epicenter of our bodies so we must treat them with special care. Read below for ways we can love our hearts so they will have the ability to last from that devotion.

Diet
Eat more fruits, vegetables and fiber which will have a positive impact on heart health and weight. Read labels for easy to pronounce, wholesome ingredients. Avoid deep fried foods as well as trans fats, hydrogenated oils, dyes and preservatives like BHT present in processed foods. People living in the “blue zone” have a greater life expectancy with a veg-based diet. Try a Meatless Monday or a Vegan Weekend aka Vegend. 

Exercise
A few days of light to moderate exercise per week helps support cardiovascular health. Try walking, running, bike riding or a class at a local gym. Practicing yoga is a great way to stay in shape physically but also mentally which benefits the heart. The ability to stay calm in class while doing challenging yoga asanas is supposed to help you stay calm and centered while living real life outside of class. 

Stress
It’s easy to recommend less stress but achieving it is the challenge. Here are a few ideas to make life less stressful on a daily basis. Don’t over commit to your daily chores and activities. It is OK to say no and catch up with someone or something another day. Taking a nap or a few minutes of deep breathing or meditation lowers stress levels. Reduce your time with toxic people that don’t have your best interest at heart. Don’t overspend so you have to worry about mounting bills. Doing with less can be liberating. Rescue a pet that needs a home. “Who Rescued Who?” is really the truth. Studies show people with pets live longer and have better quality of life.

Supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most important nutrients for our bodies, especially for our hearts. Omega-3’s come from plant and nut oils and from cold water fatty fish. People have been taking cod liver oil for over a century when it first became popular in Europe. Since then many international studies for heart health have included fish oils showing reduction of stroke, abnormal heart beat and heart attacks. EPA and DHA are the two beneficial acids found in fish oils. Look for 300-500mg of each per serving to get the best results. Fish oils should be taken with meals for better absorptions and to reduce any digestive discomfort. Look for brands that test for purity and potency like Carlson Laboratories. Their fish oils come from Norway and are tested for heavy metals, PCB’s and impurities.

Love your heart and it will love you back.