As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, we want to take time to appreciate our loved ones as it’s important to be reminded of each other’s health; heart health to be specific. There is no better time to start being heart conscious. The year is still young, let’s look at what you can do to improve your heart’s health! Get Active Give your heart a workout as you work out. Raising your pulse is important to keep your heart strong. Medical professionals are getting concerned with how many people are excessively sitting every day. Sitting is the new smoking in the United States. Researchers are finding out how bad it is for people to be sitting all day and the effects are not good. Sitting too long means you aren’t burning the calories that you are consuming which turn to fat causing your heart to work harder. Get up out of your chair and move around for every hour you’re sitting. Find something physical that you enjoy doing. Your heart will love you for it and you’ll feel great having done it. Drink Plenty of Water It’s important to keep your body hydrated, with pure and simple water. Do your best to decrease the amount of soda and other drinks with lots of sugar and caffeine that you may drink daily. Caffeine from energy drinks can overwork your heart especially if your heart isn’t in top shape. Water should be your default drink when you get thirsty throughout the day. Drinking water in place of other beverages is an easy way to start your way to a healthy heart. Eat Healthy Foods Eating healthy isn’t as convenient as it should be for most Americans. It is important to watch the quality of food being consumed as well as the quantity. Stay away from the fast food restaurants as well as any pre-made foods in the grocery store. Watch out for foods that are high in sodium and fats as those are harmful for your heart. Changing your diet can improve your heart’s health immensely. Don’t let your hunger sway you from eating healthy! Take a Break from Technology Technology is always improving and seems to be speeding up the lives of millions of people as more and more things come out. Technology was first invented to get things done faster with the intention of freeing up personal time. It has now taken up more time than ever causing many people to have added an extra unnecessary stress as they try to keep up with everything. The human heart can only take so much stress. Take a break from the technology that demands so much of your time. Whether it’s an hour out of your day or an entire day once a month, get away from your technology and clear your head. You will feel the stress leave you the more you take breaks from your phone and computer. Stress is not good for the health of your heart, don’t let it overtake you. Take a break from the things that bring you stress. Get Plenty of Sleep Sleep seems to be easily neglected as other things take priority. Its important to go to bed at a consistent time and before midnight. Studies have shown that going to bed before midnight and for at least seven and a half hours has improved the overall health of the average human. One discovery found was cardiovascular risks for those who go to bed after midnight. There are increased risks of stroke, heart disease, and myocardial infarction. There are many more health risks beyond just the cardiovascular risks that are involved such as obesity, insomnia, weak immune system, and even cancer. Listen to your body and make the healthy choice of going to bed! Be encouraged as these simple changes in your lifestyle can make an enormous positive impact on your heart. Happy Valentine’s Day!