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Top 6 Tips to a Healthy Heart

Many of us believe that in order to maintain a healthy heart, serious action is needed such as the intake of medicines and rigorous diet changes. The truth is, simple short term changes can have lasting long term effects.

Many research studies have shown the healing power of a positive attitude and having a generally good time with life – We only get one after all, so why not make the most of it!

Here are the Healthy Hideout’s top 6 tips towards a healthy heart!

Enjoy life to the fullest! Your heart will thank you for it!

Enjoy life to the fullest! Your heart will thank you for it!

Enjoy Life to the fullest

Studies have shown that people who laugh more and have lives filled with activity are much less likely to fall victim to a heart condition. When we finally decide to fly the nest and leave our parents house after signing a mortgage agreement of our own, adult responsibilities tend to result in the fun coming to a sudden stop. Maintain some childlike fun in your daily lives – Your healthy heart will thank you for it.

Spend time relaxing

The cycle tends to be the same for most of us. As life begins to gather pace, more things need doing, stress levels boom and the risk of heart disease increases.  The world moves along at the fast pace, a pace that you can’t change. You can however change your response to it. Dedicate a time in the day to get away from it all and relax your mind, be it with yoga, reading your favourite book or even walking the dog.

It’s only one glass!

Studies by the British Heart foundation have shown that those who choose to drink a glass of wine with their evening meal may lower their heart disease risk by at least 30 percent.  A small amount of alcohol enjoyed each day may be better than practising abstinence, and is of course better than drinking excessively. Red wine in particular is associated with having a strong healthy heart.

Create your own home haven

Spending time relaxed rather than being stressed can halve your heart disease risk, so why not create your own haven in the comfort of your own home? Plenty of natural light, soothing music and an abundance of fresh flowers are great starting points. Have a dedicated quiet space in the house to ensure you have a place to think without interruption.

Soothe your soul

Belief in yourself helps to to keep you mentally grounded, which can help towards maintaining a clear focus. Research has shown that people who use positive words such as “hope” and “joy” tend to outlive their pessimistic others by a decade. Try to embrace all the good things in your life, rather than focusing on the negatives – It’s obvious, but happiness is better than anger.

Have fun and socialise!

Our hearts are healthier when in the company of others that we know and love. Try not to make excuses by not having enough time, and surround yourself with family and friends! It’ll do wonders for your well being, without you even thinking about it.

So what do you do in your daily lives to help maintain a healthy heart? The Healthy Hideout would love to hear your recommendations.

5 Top Ways to beat SAD

With winter quickly on the approach and evenings getting darker, some of us will begin to feel the winter blues. Officially branded as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it seems none of us enjoy waking up in the dark for a day in the office or heading home whilst driving in the pitch black.

Here are the Healthy Hideout’s top 5 ways to beat the affects of SAD:

  1. Sleeping patterns – It’s important to try and get your body into a consistent sleeping pattern throughout the week including the weekends. Although it’s nice to have a lie in, repeatedly hitting the “snooze” button on Saturday morning may leave you feeling lethargic and more tired when the next working week arrives.
  2. Light therapy – Reduced exposure to natural light has been known to cause a chemical imbalance inside the brain which can leave us in a depressed mood along with a sense of fatigue and irratability. One unique suggestion is to invest in a “seasonal light box” for the side of your bed, which mimics the suns rise a little earlier, in the comfort of your own bed. There are many sizes and options available so you’re bound to find one that will suit your needs best.
  3. Food – The summer leaves many of us encouraged by the flurry of fresh fruit and veg available at that time of year. Try and keep your intake of fruit and veg up throughout the winter period, and maintain a healthy intake of complex carbs such as wholegrain rice, pasta and bread. The added sustenance will keep your energy levels high throughout the day.
  4. Exercise – Regular exercise produces endorphins – we all know this. Many of us will start to sway away from our regular exercise routines as the temperature begins to drop, but try to maintain them and your body will thank you for it. Many studies have shown how physical workouts can help improve sleep and muscle tension. If it helps, try moving your workout so that it takes place during the few daylight hours that we have – It’ll help lift your mood!
  5. Laugh it up! – Socialising is easily one of the best ways to help beat SAD. Meet up with friends on a regular basis, and don’t sit at home being a couch potato under a blanket. Laughter has been known to produce many psychological benefits, boosting your immune system and lowering the effects of stress. Coupled quite perfectly from the phrase “a happy worker is a productive worker,” you may find yourself quickly changing your attitude to winter.

Let’s end with a favourite to get us all smiling:

This is a Stick up!

This is a Stick up!

For more information on SAD, here’s a great book to get your hands on: