Win the gold for a healthy heart!

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heart healthLet the Olympians at this year’s winter games be your inspiration as we celebrate Heart Month. The best way to get more active and stay active is to make physical activity a family affair. Include physical activities into your family schedule and support the importance of an active family lifestyle for a healthy heart, mind and body.

You could start by taking a walk with the family after dinner three days a week or scheduling a weekly Saturday afternoon trip to the pool. Enjoy the outdoors with family activities like hiking, cycling, walking, or skating. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try new activities together like yoga, table tennis or gardening.

Let’s take a look at some healthy nutrition options to complement your physical health.

Four healthy tips for a champion’s heart

1. Shake away the sodium and reduce your risk of high blood pressure and stroke by cutting down on your salt intake

  • Consume no more than one teaspoon of salt per day.
  • Replace salt with fresh herbs and spices like basil, thyme, cumin, Mrs. Dash.
  • Add condiments that are labeled sodium free, low sodium or unsalted.
  • Limit processed foods such as canned soups, cold cuts, cheese and pizza.

2. Fats: the good, the bad, and the ugly

  • Include sources of good fats such as salmon, flax seed, olive oil, nuts and avocados to help improve cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Limit the bad fats like butter, margarine or shortening. Trim off visible fat from meat and choose leaner proteins like turkey, fish and chicken.
  • Avoid the ugly trans fats found in hydrogenated oils, shortening and many baked goods.
  • Instead of butter, mayonnaise and margarine, use low-fat choices such as salsa, low-fat yogurt or low-sugar fruit spread to add that extra flavour.

 3. Boost your fibre to help lower cholesterol and your risk of heart disease

  • Eat more fruit and vegetables and include whole grains like wild or brown rice, oatmeal, and whole grain bread.
  • Choose high-fibre protein alternatives like beans and lentils.
  • Drink plenty of fluids like water or herbal tea to help your body digest the fibre.

4. Rekindle home cooking

Cooking at home more often can be the best heart healthy option. It helps you control what you eat and how much of it. So stock your fridge and pantry with healthy foods, and get cooking!

You don’t have to be a gold medalist to enjoy a strong heart and healthy lifestyle. All it takes is the right attitude, a little knowledge and some healthy habits to feel like a champion.

For more nutritional advice, call 1 866 833-7690 and speak to one of our Registered Dietitians or visit workhealthlife.com

 

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