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Health & Wellness Articles  ›  Healthy Lifestyles

Loving Your Heart

An Innovative Apporach to Valentine's Day

-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietician
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Valentine #3: Move It, Don’t Lose It
The best news regarding exercise is that you don’t have to knock yourself out to give your heart a healthy workout. Modest amounts of exercise can substantially reduce your risk of heart disease. Take a brisk walk, work in your garden, wash the car, or take the stairs. Get those large muscle groups working, and your heart will get a workout too.

Valentine #4: Slow Down and Smell the Roses
In our fast-paced society it is hard not to find someone who isn’t stressed! But stressing out stresses your heart too. Don’t try to eliminate all stress. Some stress, called eustress, is good for us—exercise, planning a wedding, studying for an exam. These stressors help us improve ourselves. Learn cope with other stressors in a healthy way. Need some guidance? Your physician can refer you to professionals or stress reduction and relaxation classes in your area.

Valentine #5: A Little Help from Your Friends
You don’t have to go through healthy lifestyle changes alone. It’s easier to do anything with the help and support of your family, friends, and of course, the SparkPeople Community. We are here to help answer your questions, provide support, motivation and encouragement. Let us be your Valentine!

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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

Member Comments

  • Stress??? What's that???lol
    - 6/19/2014 2:39:50 PM
  • The best way to protect your heart is to lower your internal inflammation levels.

    The best way to do that is to lower your sugar and starch intake. They're empty calories for nutritional purposes, but a loaded gun for your heart health. - 2/7/2014 8:31:22 AM
  • Another great article! - 2/2/2014 12:30:07 AM
  • Love the article. It's great when you can read something to help you to make better choices. - 8/1/2013 9:22:45 AM
  • I do wish my husband would quit smoking

    I can not convince his how much it would mean to me - 12/27/2010 4:26:13 PM
  • DENI_ZEN
    My triglycerides went from 330 in April to 82, and I lost 34 pounds in that time. There's a lot we can do for our tickers! - 9/5/2010 6:56:21 AM
  • Another great read for the health of the body is: "YOU: On A Diet" by Dr. Oz. I have both the South Beach Diet book, per Jibbie, and YOU: On A Diet.

    These books together are a powerhouse of information. YOU: On A Diet explains in layman's terms and with cartoon sketches, (as only Dr. Oz can do), how the body works and what happens when you care for it, and when you don't care for it. It has a storehouse of knowledge, information, and tips to help you understand why your body functions the way it does.

    The South Beach Diet is geared to help one with getting their numbers, (blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol, ect.), going in the right direction.

    Both books will do your heart wonders, and your body will thank you for it. - 10/4/2009 1:20:08 PM
  • I think everyone should read ARTHUR AGATSTON, M.D.'s book "The South Beach Heart Health Program." as he is a Cardiologist and Professor at the U. of Miami Medical School. I've learned so much about Metabolic Syndrome/pre-diab
    etes from reading his books. - 7/24/2009 11:02:47 AM
  • Great article. I love Valentine's Day. True it gets a lot of flack for being so commercialized; still, any day that brings hearts and love to the surface (even superficially) is okay by me. - 1/29/2009 2:19:48 PM
  • Great article . . . Thanks! It gives me a lot to think about! - 10/2/2008 10:34:41 PM
  • My father died of a heart attack and I am trying to do more for my heart. - 10/2/2008 12:43:47 PM
  • Every day is Valentine's Day! Why wait for one day out of the whole year to celebrate someone you love!!! - 10/2/2008 5:11:11 AM
  • Is past Valentines day but I still found this article very informative. - 2/25/2008 10:51:03 AM
  • SLOWRUNNER82
    I work for the Heart Association and would be happy to pass along any helpful information. Happy Love Your Heart Month Everyone!

    :) - 1/25/2008 2:12:00 PM
  • CRICKETRO
    This is a great approach to St. Valentine's Day :) I'm hoping to plan a very active weekend wt my hubby -of course it would include either tennis or ice-skating ;) - 1/25/2008 1:33:52 PM