This Valentine’s Day instead of loading up on sweets, do something good for your health instead – exercise! Your heart with thank you!

Cardiovascular disease causes more than one-half of deaths in people over age 65. Fortunately, lifestyle modification can dramatically reduce the chances of developing heart disease. A person’s cardiovascular fitness can be improved at any age. Along with eating a healthy diet and reducing stress, regular physical activity plays a major role in the prevention of heart disease.

Regular, moderate aerobic exercise can make the heart bigger and stronger, and improve cardiac output. A good goal for exercise is to engage in aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes 4-6 times per week. When we exercise aerobically on a regular basis, the heart becomes a more powerful and efficient pump. Exercise also reduces fatty deposits in the blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, decreases the tendency of blood clots to form, and helps to control weight.

With over 300 days of sunshine a year, Colorado is the perfect place for regular family walks, hikes, bike rides, etc. There is no excuse not to get your family moving!

In addition to exercise, be sure to include the following list of yummy, nutrient-dense foods in your diet for heart health:

  • Garlic
  • Red onions
  • Blueberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Raw Almonds & Walnuts
  • Salmon
  • Wheat Germ
  • Brown Rice
  • Oats
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sea vegetables
  • Legumes

Items on the “no-no” list include foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol, fried foods, soda, processed and refined foods (typically high in sodium and sugar, and low in fiber), and excess alcohol.

Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Until next time, make every bite count!