September 2021

3 Heart-Friendly Ways to Upgrade Your Day


Isn’t everyone looking for ways to enjoy their days more—with less effort? 

Artistic rendering of the heart

Try this heart-friendly advice:

1. Turn in on time

Sleeping 7 to 9 hours each night helps your mind and body work better. For example, quality slumber helps repair heart and blood vessels. Too little ups your risk for falls, depression, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. To sleep better, set a bedtime. Stay within an hour of it every night. Avoid screen time and large meals an hour beforehand. Limit any daytime naps to 20 minutes and early afternoon. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have trouble sleeping.

2. Put food labels on your reading list

They’re not as entertaining as current best-sellers, but they’re a reliable way to avoid packaged foods with high amounts of (sneaky) sodium. For example, the amounts listed for many breads, rolls, cold cuts, and poultry are likely to be an unexpected twist. Take home options that are lower in sodium.

3. Seek resources geared toward your needs

They’re out there! For example, the American Heart Association offers a free, monthly Heart Insight e-newsletter. You can also request the free Shop Smart, Eat Smart digital recipe booklet.

Shake things up with the power of positivity

Disrupting your morning routine isn’t always a bad thing. You can start balancing out natural tendencies to focus on the negative in just a few minutes each day. Pick a time, like before showering or after dressing. Get comfortable and take a few slow, mindful breaths. Then, think about something that you’re thankful for, such as a special moment or person.

Here are more ways to bring gratitude to your day:

●          On your next outing, no matter where it is, pause and look for something beautiful. You’re likely to find wonderful things in unexpected places.

●          Share the pleasure of a good book by giving it to a friend, family member, or colleague to read.

●          Think of someone who made you smile or feel good recently. Send them a funny meme, virtual hug, or text with three specific reasons you’re grateful for them.

Over time, you just might find that practicing gratitude helps you keep up with other positive behaviors, like eating healthy, avoiding alcohol, exercising, and staying on track with your medicines.

Online Medical Reviewer: Brian McDonough, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ray Turley, MSN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2021
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.