Give Yourself A Valentine — A Healthy Happy Lifestyle

In honor of Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month, let’s take a moment to review 3 essentials to an exceptional quality of life. Consider this a special valentine treat you can give to yourself and those you love.

Eat a healthy diet. An outstanding, balanced diet includes a wide variety of healthy food, in reasonable portion sizes, in order to maintain an appropriate body weight. Foods should primarily come from the vegetable, fruit, grain and legume food groups, include plenty of nutrients in a typical day … protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fats and water, and have a limited reliance on processed foods.

Be physically active. The National Institute of Health defines physical activity as any type of body movement that works your muscles and requires more energy than resting, ranging from weight lifting, fitness classes and sports competition, to more sedentary activities like walking, swimming, yoga and gardening. They identify 4 main types of physical activity — aerobics, stretching, muscle strengthening and bone strengthening.

Learn the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke. Knowing the symptoms of these life-threatening circumstances can truly mean the difference between life and death. If you notice a shortness of breath, suddenly feel sweaty, nauseous or clammy, or are feeling unusual pressure on the left side of your chest, or places above your waist such as your neck, jawline, back, stomach or left arm, you may be experiencing a heart attack. As this valuable article from WebMD notes, these conditions, as well as a shortness of breath or sense of disorientation can be warning signs of a stroke, heart attack or angina. Call 911 or get to an emergency room immediately any time you are experiencing these types of symptoms you’ve never felt before.

Awareness of healthy heart essentials is an important first step in giving yourself a great opportunity for a great quality of life. Happy Valentine’s Day!