February is heart awareness month so let’s show our hearts some love with a bit of cardiovascular fitness and a lot of good food.
Making a few small changes to our lifestyle and diet can help us to maintain a healthy heart and I’ve teamed up with Holland and Barrett to show you how to take care of your heart, with their healthy heart products and my favourite exercises.
Breakfast cereals have a bit of a bad reputation as they are usually coated in public enemy number one, sugar. But not all breakfast cereals are bad for you. Puffed Brown Rice cereals (think of it as the grown up version of rice crispies) contain selenium which helps to fight heart disease. Spelt flakes are rich in fiber which also helps to protect your heart from heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are my favourite snacks and because they are so moreish, I can easily eat a bag of salted cashew nuts in one sitting! They are rich in fat, the good kind that your heart needs to function so don’t be afraid of their high fat content.
Exercise plays a big part in having a healthy heart. Sprinting is my favourite form of blood pumping cardio. It uses your fast twitch muscle fibres, which helps to maintain good heart health and it also helps to improve your speed, power and muscle endurance. The best thing about sprinting is that it’s better done outdoors, so as the days are getting longer and the air is getting warmer, head outside and give this sprint drill a go:
1-minute jog pace
30 second sprint
Repeat 10 times
They always say that laughter is the best medicine for pretty much anything and when it comes to your heart, a bit of laughter can actually help to maintain good health. Laughter can help to improve the function of your blood vessels, so throw back your head and laugh away!
The Three Omega’s
Each of the three Omega’s contribute to maintaining a healthy heart but they all have their own individual characteristics. Omgea 3 helps to fight cardiovascular diseases and can be found in flaxseeds and flaxseed oil and fatty fish like salmon, sardines and tuna.
Omega 6 works with omega 3 to fight heart disease and it can be found in foods like raw nuts and seeds, olive oil and pistachios.
Omega 9 is the final piece to the jigsaw puzzle and it can be produced naturally by your body if you have a diet that is rich in Omega 6 & 3. You can also find Omega 9 in Avocados, Almonds and Olives to name a few.
Let me know if you give any of these tips ago!
This post was in collaboration with Holland and Barrett, however all views are my own. Shop their healthy heart collection here.