5 Easy Heart Healthy Changes To Make At Work
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The month of February is dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and increasing knowledge about prevention. Workplace habits play a big role in heart health and it’s becoming more common for businesses to have heart healthy employee wellness programs to raise awareness to the problem. But even if your work does not actively participate in an official corporate wellness program, here are 5 easy heart healthy changes to make at work.
Skip the invitation to eat at the Cheesecake Factory and instead opt for a nutritious lunch filled with lean protein, high fiber and low saturated fat. Steer clear of salty foods! Eat mindfully, focusing on what you’re eating and when you’re full.
And by water, I mean copious amounts of water – not just the water you drink in your morning cup of coffee. Water is directly linked to heart health. When you drink water, your blood thins and your organs perform more efficiently. In fact, people that stay hydrated, reduce their risk of dying from a heart attack by half or more.
Take a Daily Walking Meeting:
Finding time to exercise might seem impossible in our increasingly busy lives so rather than sit at your office desk for a conference call, add walking meetings to your schedule. It may easily contribute to two to three hours of moderate physical activity every week. Stay safe from traffic – don’t become distracted. Take your walks in parks or on trails. In the winter, you can even designate indoor walking paths that weave through hallways, stairwells and cafeterias.
Feeling overwhelmed or stressed at work has been linked to high blood pressure. Try making a list and prioritizing it; it’s a good feeling to cross off completed tasks. Leave extra time for delays so you’re not racing from meeting to meeting, feel comfortable saying ‘no’ and delegate where possible.
Don’t just sit at your office desk for too long. Going from sitting to standing can make a difference. Studies have shown that our bodies can benefit from simply standing up, contracting muscles, and moving. Think of standing as pushing a reset button on your body. If you press the reset button every 20 minutes, you’ll avoid any of the negative side effects of a sedentary job.
If your workplace does not offer an official employee wellness program, that doesn’t mean you can’t modify your day to include heart healthy choices. Don’t let your work environment diminish your health for eight hours of the day. Get up, stretch, and move. Regular movement throughout the day will keep your mind, body and heart – healthy and happy.