New Year, New You: Heart Healthy Tips for 2020
Happy New Year! The start of a new year, especially a new decade, brings new beginnings and a chance to set goals for the year ahead. When making resolutions, it is important to remember that New Year’s is not your only chance to start setting goals and making changes for a healthier lifestyle. Instead of setting one overwhelming resolution this year, try setting a few smaller, attainable goals to make your New Year’s resolution for a healthier 2020 a reality. Remember it takes 66 days for a new behavior to become habitual, so be patient, be kind to yourself, and try your best to not give up.
To start this new decade off right, here are four attainable heart-healthy resolutions and some tips on how to keep them:
Find Time for Fitness
Is your New Year’s resolution to exercise more? You’re not alone! Surveys show that Americans’ most common New Year’s resolution is to make going to the gym part of their routine. Getting just 30 minutes of exercise each day can greatly benefit your heart health, emotional health, and overall wellbeing.
- Find a fitness buddy. Having someone to keep you accountable not only makes working out easier but also more fun.
- Take the stairs at work or go for a walk on your lunch break. Getting your blood flowing at work is a great way to fit some exercise into your daily routine.
- Intimidated by the gym? Too cold to run outside? Doing a home workout is an easy, no-excuses way to get a sweat in. Try looking online for free workout videos to follow along with from the comfort of your home.
With life comes many stressors, but studies have shown how chronic stress takes a lasting toll on the mind and body. Stress can cause insomnia, frequent headaches and even increased risk for heart disease, including potentially fatal cardiac events such as stroke or heart attack. Even though we can’t always control the stress that life brings our way, developing tools and routines to manage stress will help you face anything that comes your way in 2020.
- Develop a morning routine and stick to it. Try to wake up early, make time to meditate, and eat a healthy breakfast to center yourself before a busy day.
- Self-care is one of the most important aspects of stress management. Be sure to frequently check in with yourself and never feel guilty for spending some time to take care of you.
- When you start to feel overwhelmed, try to pause for a moment and take four to five deep breaths.
Catch More Zzz’s
When life gets busy, one of the first things people tend to sacrifice is their sleep. Sleep is a key component of a healthy lifestyle, however, 1 in 3 adults are getting fewer than the recommended seven hours each night. Habitual lack of sleep can result in depression, premature aging, obesity, and can even increase your risk for heart disease.
- Try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day. Keeping your sleep cycle consistent will help guarantee that you are getting quality sleep each night.
- Develop a bedtime routine and avoid screen time before bed. Instead of scrolling through Instagram or Facebook to wind down, try reading a book, drinking some chamomile tea or listening to relaxing music before you fall asleep.
Eat More Fruits and Veggies
Studies have shown that people who regularly eat fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet have the lowest risk for stroke and heart attack. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to a heart-healthy diet. If your New Year’s resolution is to shed a few pounds or just be healthier overall, making sure you are eating plenty of fresh produce is a great place to start.
- The USDA recommends eating 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies per day, so try to fill your plate with fresh produce each meal.
- Keep your fridge filled with fresh, dried, or frozen fruits and veggies so you always have some on hand.
- Take a cooking class to find new tasty ways to include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
One of the best ways to stay on top of your cardiovascular health is to check in with your doctor. Start this year off right by visiting our experienced team of doctors at CVG today.