Community Blog

3 Simple Ways to Love Your Heart!

By Gretchen Ellsmore: Community Blogger

February boasts of many well-know and unusual celebrations. It is the month of Black History, National Bird Feeding, and Canned Food. This second month of the year is also recognized for holidays such as: Ground Hog Day, Bubble Gum Day, National Weatherman’s Day, Walking the Dog Day, Card Reading Day, and there is even Tell a Fairy Tale Day. February is most prominently distinguished as American Heart Month, and of course Valentine’s Day.

With so many amusing holidays to commemorate February, here are some fun ways to love your heart.

Eat Chocolate:

That’s right! Enjoy some chocolate. It not only tastes yummy; it boosts “happy” neurotransmitters in the brain. Eating a ½ ounce of dark chocolate (70% cocoa) may drop blood pressure up to 5 points. When you indulge in a ½ ounce of the “dark stuff” daily, it helps to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.  Be sure to choose chocolate that has a high percentage of cocoa and a lower amount of sugar. For a new treat, try cocoa nibs.

Take a Nap:

Studies have proven adequate sleep is not only restorative; it is beneficial for your heart. It reduces the risk of deposits in your arteries and lowers blood pressure. Getting the amount of sleep your body needs helps regulate hormones, improves brain function, and can even help you loose weight.  

Be Creative:

Having a creative space in your life is relaxing and mitigates stress in the body. Activities such as: gardening or house plants, writing poems or your life stories that bring you joy, and reading or learning about other cultures based on areas of the world you dream of traveling to is imaginative and inspirational. These are some simple ways to naturally incorporate creativity within your lifestyle without excessive planning. Creativeness diminishes stress levels in the body which improves blood pressure, raises serotonin levels, and decreases the stress load on your heart physically and mentally.

Love your heart by doing the things you love!