March gives your family the perfect opportunity to talk about love and improve your heart health. Involve your entire family in making positive changes when you take several small heart-healthy steps.
Find Free Time for Active Movement
Whether you have 15 minutes after dinner or several hours on the weekends, exercise and activity improve your heart health. Review your family’s schedule to find free time for activities everyone in the family enjoys, such as hiking, biking, swimming, sports and active video games.
Kids may balk at any dietary changes or new foods unless they help with the meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. Encourage your kids to help you research heart-healthy meals and snacks, too, as you introduce unprocessed options into your family’s everyday diet.
Drink More Water
Water hydrates and fuels your body. According to the Mayo Clinic, adult men should drink 15.5 cups of water and women need 11.5 cups of water daily. Children should consume between five and 11 cups of water depending on their height, weight and age. To boost your water intake, replace other beverages with water, eat foods high in water content and drink a glass of water before and with each meal.
While you probably can’t avoid stress altogether, you can work as a family to reduce your stress levels, which makes your heart happy. Consider cutting unnecessary activities, doing yoga, spending time outdoors, enjoying fun hobbies and embracing other effective strategies that reduce stress every day.
Choose Less Screen Time
Technology can improve your health, especially when you use a fitness tracker to monitor your activity and diet. Too much screen time, particularly if it involves sitting around, can negatively affect your health, though. As a family, choose to replace some of your screen time with family board games, hobbies or volunteer activities.
Visit the Doctor
Involve your doctor on your journey to better heart health, especially if you’re new to exercise or have a history of heart issues. Your health insurance should cover a physical and regular checkups, and it may even offer reimbursement for exercise or nutrition classes you may take as your family pursues better health.
Give Yourself Permission to Take Baby Steps
Implementing and maintaining heart-healthy improvements takes time. Encourage your family members to view your new adventure as a marathon rather than a sprint because with baby steps you’re more likely to stick with your new lifestyle changes over time.
This February, prioritize heart health with your entire family. Every step you take toward a healthier lifestyle improves your quality of life and can help you live longer.