The American Heart Association does a world of good by funding research, raising awareness, and promoting the importance of heart health. They also do an amazing job of providing tools and resources to the general public, much of which is available through their website at www.heart.org.
Here are six great AHA resource pages, all well worth a look if you’d like to learn more about a particular area of heart health.
Nutrition Center. Physical activity and good nutrition are each cornerstones of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Being a runner goes a long way towards the first one, but what about eating right? It’s easy to form bad habits and end up in a serious (and harmful) nutritional rut. Check out the Nutrition Center for lots of great information, including shopping tips and recipe ideas that will tell you everything you need to know to start eating better today.
Stress Management. Everyone can relate to a stress-induced headache or nervous stomach. These are very real, physiological symptoms that can be caused by stress. The heart is also affected by stress levels, meaning serious problems can develop if you can’t get a handle on it. Visit the Stress Management page to learn how to identify unhealthy stress levels, manage symptoms, and get back to a calm, balanced place.
Physical Activity. We’re willing to bet that you’re ahead of the game on this one, but there’s always more to learn when it comes to developing a healthy, active lifestyle. Check out the Physical Activity resources for motivation, exercise ideas, and other great info that can help you stay active and motivated.
Fats & Oils. The AHA points out that as Americans (and we’re sure everyone else, too) become more aware of the dangers of trans fats, we are actually leaning towards eating more saturated fats than ever before. While cutting back on trans fat is certainly a good thing, the bottom line is that we need to be mindful of fat intake across the board. Visit their Fats & Oils page to learn the basics, plus some fun, kid-friendly educational resources.
Weight Management. Getting to and staying at a healthy weight can be tricky to say the least. It comes more naturally to some than others, but we can all use some help watching our weight. Whether you are trying to lose a few (or more than a few) pounds or just maintain your current weight, there’s information available to help you pull it off. This Weight Management section has lots of well-organized, easily-digestible information.
Quit Smoking. Do you smoke? Or did you ever? Lots of people will tell you that stopping smoking was the hardest thing they ever had to do. They’ll also tell you it was the most rewarding (and the best thing they could have done for their hearts and their health in general). Make this the year (the month!) that you kick the habit, starting with getting a strategy in place with the AMA’s Quit Smoking page.
There’s tons more out there, likely addressing whatever heart questions you might have. Take a look and do what you can to make this a month to really start taking care of that ticker of yours.