While financial health is usually my primary focus, I am a firm believer that mental, physical AND financial health are all equally important. This month, as we observe American Heart Month, I encourage you to look at your physical health – especially your heart health.
What small changes can you make to improve your heart health?
Here are my top 3 tips:
Eat Healthy – To start with, do not go to the grocery store hungry. It is too easy to compromise away from your list when you are hungry. As you are choosing your healthy food, start with simple. Make sure what you purchase does not take too much time to prepare. Easy to clean and eat fruits and veggies are a great start. Go ahead and bag the snacks into the size you want for the week so you do not have to scramble to prepare the healthy foods when you are hungry.
Get Active – Finding time in your day to exercise can be difficult. Instead, make small changes to add activity to your daily routine. Park at the far end of the parking lot so you have to take a few extra steps to get to the door. Take the stairs instead of an elevator. Even these simple shifts can add up and improve your activity levels.
Lower Stress – This one is definitely easier said than done. The quickest way I have found to lower my stress levels throughout the day is to stop and breathe. There have been times in my life where I have set alarms to help me remember to stop and breathe throughout the day.
My favorite breathing exercise is sitting with my feet planted on the ground, breathe in through my nose for 5 seconds and slowly out through my mouth for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times and then go on with my day. Doing this at least 3 times throughout the day makes a noticeable improvement in my stress level. Hopefully it will for you also!
Remember, just as with your financial health, small changes can have large and positive impacts on your future health. Think about what you can put into place today. Your future self will thank you for being selfish and taking care of you!