So what is self-care?
The concept of self-care being a selfish act of indulgence is ludicrous. This is a myth we must bust wide open. It's necessary to maintain optimal health, not just optimal heart health.
Self-care can be interpreted widely, but in my world it means taking care of yourself so that you can take care of all you need to manage in your life.
Because this is Healthy Heart Month, let's talk about how self-care can help you keep you heart healthy.
Five ways to take care of your heart
- Consume a heart healthy diet - your nutrition is so important in maintaining a healthy body and heart. Eat a primarily plant-based diet with little to no animal product. This practice will go a long way in keeping your heart safe.
- Maintain a healthy weight - normal body mass index (BMI) is between 18 and 29. BMI >30 is considered obese by medical standards and puts you at higher risk for many lifestyle related diseases like heart disease.
- Move your body - exercise doesn't have to be grueling and all-consuming. As long as you move your body at a high enough level to elevate your heart rate for about 30 minutes per day, you will be on your way to a healthier heart.
- Manage stress - stress is a huge contributor to all sorts of illness but most especially cardiovascular disease. Find ways to minimize the inevitable stress that creeps into your life.
- Know your numbers - even if you don't have a problem now, get a baseline of your critical markers. Understand what your blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting glucose numbers are and what they mean to your heart health. Notice any trends up or down in these numbers and stay connected to your healthcare provider.
Taking care of your heart is a very important component of self-care. Do it for yourself and for your loved ones. Or do it because the world needs what you have to offer.
I help women living with or at risk for developing heart disease or other chronic illness that we can manage through lifestyle and nutrition changes. Have you been told that you are on the verge of developing heart disease, or diabetes, or another lifestyle related condition? If so, let's chat. For a free consultation with me, click here.