Loving yourself should start at the core of your being- your heart.

According to the American Heart Association, about 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 40 seconds.

So instead of treating your body to your Valentine’s Day chocolate, why not treat your heart with steps that will help prevent cardiovascular disease?

It’s as easy as these four steps from Healthy for Good, a movement started by the American Heart Association.

1.  Eat smart.

Take control of your portions instead so you do not have to completely eliminate the foods you love. Do not try any fad diets because they can be dangerous to your health. Eat balanced by including fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, lean protein, low-fat dairy products and healthy fats.

Start by cooking healthier meals with your family to build smart eating habits together at home. 

2. Move more.

Are you getting tired of just running on the treadmill? Get involved in fitness activities you actually look forward to.  Commit to making time in your busy schedule to be active – it only takes 22 minutes a day to get more fit. Make a simple start today!  Take the stairs instead of taking an elevator.

Take care of the rest of your body too!  Make sure you are wearing supportive athletic gear.

3.  Add color.

Eat colorful fruits and veggies every day. Seasons change and produce changes with it – be on the lookout for new produce when the season changes. So, eat a rainbow – eat healthier one plate at a time by adding a few pops of color.

Why Not…Substitute veggies in for meat?  Just replace ground beef with sautéed mushrooms or eggplant in place of chicken.

4. Be well.

Take a break from your hectic day. Find an outlet for your stress – try yoga or hit the gym for a work out, take a walk, or just drink some tea and relax.  Make taking care of yourself a priority – add at least an hour of me-time every couple of days.

 Be sure to get enough sleep to properly recharge your batteries.

Making your heart happy at the end of day is going to make you happy!
So let loving yourself start from your heart.