February is Heart Month, reminding us to do all things that are good for our hearts so that we can enjoy healthier, happier lives.
Heart disease includes all conditions in which blood vessels are either narrow or blocked, leading to decreased blood flow to the heart and other organs. When blood vessels are compromised, the individual may experience a heart attack, chest pain (angina), or stroke, in the most extreme cases.
Symptoms of cardiovascular disease include sweating*, snoring, feeling tired easily, pain in the jaw or throat, dizziness or lightheadedness, nausea, indigestion, heartburn, stomach pain, and pain that spreads down the arm.
Taking steps toward improving heart health may be easier than you think:
Enjoy these foods
Red Wine - a glass of red wine actually helps protect the arteries from plaque build-up, thanks to an ingredient called reservitol.
Tea- the Green and Black varieties of tea contain flavinols, which are good for maintaining heart health.
Dark Chocolate – yup! The doctor is prescribing chocolate for your heart! Dark chocolate has been shown to reduce heart disease by as much as one-third. So indulge (in moderation, of course), without the guilt.
Walnuts – walnuts are valuable in a heart-healthy diet because they contain the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, when compared to other nuts.
Activities for a Healthy Heart
Exercise - find – or continue – an activity that stimulates your heart to pump blood more efficiently. Walking, swimming, cycling, and aerobics are most often on the list, but also consider tennis, pickleball, or any activity that gets you moving each day.
Sleeping – that’s right! Quality sleep is linked to a healthy heart. If you find you can’t fall asleep or stay asleep, try these tips:
• Avoid or limit caffeine, especially past lunch time.
• Limit “screen time” in the hour or two before you go to bed, and keep phones, televisions, computers, and other screen devices out of the bedroom.
• Exercise earlier in the day so that your body has a chance to “wind down” before bed.
• Keep a regular schedule for going to sleep and waking up. The body thrives on routine.
Laugh – to alleviate stress and raise your mood, both of which are strongly linked to heart health.
Gratitude – studies have shown that gratitude appears to affect the smoothness and rhythm of the heartbeat!
Friends – people who are more isolated tend to experience higher rates of heart disease than those who cultivate social connections.
At Windsong, heart health is easier to maintain, with well-appointed kitchens in which to prepare and enjoy healthy foods, inviting master suites where falling asleep is a joyful experience, wide sidewalks and amenities that encourage exercise, neighbors who become friends – and a lot to be grateful for!
Welcome to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!