February 14th, “the day for lovers”, is absolutely crazy in Nigeria, Lagos in particular. The entire streets, hotels, stores and restaurants are covered in red white streamers, with big heart shaped signs wishing passersby a Happy Valentines Day.
During this day, men anticipate romance, propose to their partners and impress their partners by spending more money. However, the joy of spending Valentine with your loved ones and appreciating them can go beyond just the love and romance. One can as well take some time to be good to the heart, nurture it, and keep it healthy and safe for the ones they love. In order to achieve this, you have to incorporate these healthy habits into your lifestyle.
Eat a diet that is low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium: Saturated fats are found in prepared foods and animal products including meats, milk, butter and eggs. Limit your red meat intake, choose lean cuts of chicken and turkey, and eat more soy protein and fish, including sardines. Also add fruits and vegetables to your diet to increase your fiber consumption.
Stay Active: Simply make exercise a part of your daily routine. Find an activity that fits your lifestyle and take the time to do it. Ideally, aim to get your heart rate up with at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five days a week. If you are busy, you can do three 10 minute spurts of activity that get your heart rate up.
Stop Smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for your health. It does not only damage your lungs, it also negatively affects your heart health. World Health Organization reports that smokers have about 70% higher death rate from coronary artery disease than nonsmokers. Also do your best to avoid secondhand smoke (the smoke inhaled by a smoker).
Keep Your Weight Under Control: Ask your doctor if you are overweight. Obesity increases the risk of heart attacks, heart failure and diabetes. A healthy diet with portion control and regular exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy weight.
Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at normal levels: A good blood pressure is around 120/80 mm Hg and a good total cholesterol level should be 200 mg/DL or lower. To keep them in check, be sure to have these levels measured regularly, and take medications from your doctor when necessary.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption: For people who drink a moderate amount of red wine, there's a heart health benefit. Research has shown that the flavonoids in red wine have an antioxidant effect, may raise good cholesterol levels and may help prevent blood clotting in vessels.
Keep stress levels in check: To keep your heart healthy, it is important to assess your stress level frequently. Ideas for stress reduction include listening to music, having a regular exercise routine and taking the time to meditate.
Valentines Day was made for you and your loved ones. Celebrate it by making commitments to keep your hearts healthy. Happy #HeartyValentine.
Last Updated: 14-Feb-2018 11:55 AM
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