Top 5 (easy) ways to fit heart-healthy habits into your routine

By Jeanelle Odum

Like many women, WriterGirls are busy. Balancing the demands of family, home and work isn’t always easy. And if you’re like most of us, our needs slip to the bottom of the to-do list.

To honor February’s Heart Health Month, we’re making wellness a top priority. Given that heart disease is the number one cause of death in women, it’s a perfect time for us to share tips to sneak heart-healthy habits into your day. Enjoy!

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Kirsten Lecky drinks a big glass of water —32 ounces — soon after she wakes up. The American Heart Association reports that staying hydrated means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. Water is the best choice, and drinking it before you’re thirsty is most beneficial.

  1. Stay connected

Karla Webb connects with friends for a weekly bible study. Research shows that a lack of social ties can be linked to developing heart disease and other health conditions. Whether it’s a book club, Zumba class or dinner, spending time with friends improves your health.

  1. Imbibe for your heart’s sake

A few of our WriterGirls enjoy a glass (or two) of red wine a day. Good news! Mayo Clinic says antioxidants in red wine may help prevent coronary artery disease, a condition that causes heart attacks. Note that too much alcohol can cause health problems, so moderation is key.

  1. Get physical for a few minutes a day

Rebecca Sims fits in a brisk walk during lunch. Harvard Health says 15 minutes of daily activity can keep blood pressure in check and lead to a longer life. If it’s too cold outside, break out your kid’s video game console and dance or play tennis.

  1. Adopt a dog

Laura Digiulio adores her WriterDogs. WebMD reports that dog owners are less likely to get heart disease. This is due to lowered blood pressure and reduced stress that come from the physical, social and emotional benefits of dog ownership.

Learn more about women and heart disease from Go Red for Women.

How do you sneak heart-healthy habits into your day? Share your ideas with us on Facebook and Twitter, or in the comments section below.

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