February is National Heart Month
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February is National Heart Month

Posted on Thursday, February 6th, 2014 at 2:01 pm
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Learn some ways to keep your heart healthy during National Heart Month and beyond!For the past 50 years, the American Heart Association promotes heart health awareness during the month of February with National Heart Month. At FreeCoupons.com, we want you to keep the old ticker healthy. Here are some easy ways you can make sure your heart is healthy and happy!

Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Keep an Eye on Your Diet

Your diet is essential in keeping your heart healthy. Diets high in saturated fat, cholesterol or salt will put you at a higher risk for heart disease. Switch to a diet with more fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein like chicken or fish. If you have a nasty salt habit, try flavoring your food with other herbs and spices for an extra kick of flavor without the sodium content. Some chili powder can add a little kick while herbs like oregano or thyme will take your dish to a whole new level!

You can also try adding more heart-healthy foods to your diet. Options include salmon, avocado, olive oil, flaxseed, berries, legumes, chocolate, or red wine.

Get Active

Ensuring you’re getting enough exercise is not only a great way to keep your heart healthy, but it’s also a great way to stay fit and in shape! The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a week. You can spread it out to 5 or 6 days a week with 25 to 30 minutes per day. Options include brisk walking, jogging or running. If you have an office job, try taking a walk around the building for 30 minutes during your break. Do you work in a tall building? Try taking the stairs at a fast pact to get your heart rate up and build lower body muscles!

Keep Your Stress Down

Your blood pressure is related to your heart health as well. Try to keep your stress levels down. Make sure you get enough sleep and take time to relax and unwind at the end of a busy day. Try doing yoga to keep your stress down and your body active. Mediation is another way to take a few minutes out of the day to get focused and breathe deeply.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.