Living a healthy lifestyle means making good choices and creating lifelong habits to improve your overall health. It can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it. I find that starting off slow with simple lifestyle changes will create healthy habits which will lead to a healthy heart!
6 Simple Habits for a Healthy Heart
1. Veggies and Fruit First
For me this is the easiest habit to start. At meals, eat your fruit and veggies first whether they're in salad form, raw or steamed. If you have a generous portion of fruits and veggies with every meal you'll be filling up with heart healthy foods before you move on to the other items on your plate. Keep a fruit and veggie journal to track your progress!
2. Sneak in the Vegetables
Since you're making it a habit to eat fruits and vegetables at every meal, you might find yourself getting creative with this. One of my favorite breakfasts (when I have the time) is a mixed veggie omelet topped with salsa and served with a cut up apple.
Need a snack? Grab some cut up veggies to nibble on, nothing more delicious then crunchy carrots for a mid-afternoon pick me up. Need more creative ideas? You'll love my post on 10 ways to sneak fruits and veggies into your family's diet!
Make exercise a priority! Use the bathroom downstairs if you work at home, take the stairs, park at the back of the parking lots or do squats while you wait for your coffee to brew. All of these are simple ways to sneak a little exercise into each day.
Need a few more ideas? How about some exercise tips for busy Mom's, 7 ways to stay fit during the holidays or 5 tips to get the kids more active. Keep track of your weekly exercise by using this fun printable:
4. Reduce Stress
We all need to find a way to decompress and calm down that works with our lifestyle. Some people enjoy prayer, exercise, deep breathing, drawing or even mediation. This reminds me of how crazy busy life can get and we forget to put ourselves first. When I feel stuck, you know that moment where there is no momentum and you feel like you're getting nothing accomplished, I remind myself to stop and start over from the beginning. I need structure in my day that's why I wrote
I need structure in my day that's why I wrote make your day work for you not against you a few years back. It is important to take care of yourself before everyone else. If you aren't happy nobody is going to be happy! Remember to delegate and let the things go that are out of your control.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep deprivation is hard on your heart. It needs a rest, too. Make sure you get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night. I don't know about you but I need more like 10 or my body just doesn't function, that's why I look forward to the weekends and sleeping in!
6. Eat Healthy Fats
There are many heart-healthy fats out there! Fish is a great staple to have in your meal plan and cooking with olive, coconut or flax seed oil are great ways to add heart-healthy fats into each meal.
The good news?
You can make simple changes to develop healthy habits for your heart, mind and body without changing your entire lifestyle.