Happy Valentine’s Day

h a p p y  v a l e n t i n e ' s  d a y !

I love the month of February-even in this crazy polar vortex New York weather! It is the month of love and that means Valentine's Day, chocolate and the cozy feeling of being indoors with your loved ones! This Valentine's Day, I invite you to hold these sage-like words close to your heart, no matter where you are or who you're alongside. It's a time for love and chocolate, (for sure!), but it's also a time for staying heart-healthy and doing some fun yoga poses such as heart-openers and partner poses.  Here are some tips to make sure your heart is in tip-top shape – laughing, loving and living your life to the fullest!

1) Add Heart-Healthy Fats

Omega 3 Fatty Acids 

Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the most important nutrients when it comes to improving overall heart health. Omega 3s lower the risk of coronary artery disease, reduces blood clotting and lowers blood pressure.  In addition, not only do they powerfully lower blood triglyceride levels, they raise “good” cholesterol (HDL), helping to eliminate “bad” cholesterol (LDL).

Monounsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated Fats are heart-healthy fats that help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol, normalize blood clotting and protect against heart disease.  Olives, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and avocados are excellent sources.  Avocados also contain 10 grams of fiber helping to improve heart health and packs in more than 3x the amount of potassium than bananas helping to regulate blood pressure.

2) Increase Fiber

A diet high in dietary fiber—in particular, soluble fiber—has been shown to help lower blood cholesterol levels.  Fiber binds onto cholesterol, absorbs it and helps your body eliminate it.  You should be aiming to get 25 grams of fiber per day.

3) Reduce stress

Chronic stress is linked to high blood pressure, irregular heart beats, chest pain and increased risk of heart attack.  In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, European researches concluded that those with the highest levels of stress hormone cortisol, had an increased risk of death from heart disease.  Is all this stressing you out? Try incorporating more stress-reduction practices into you lifestyle such as yoga, meditation, or simply, taking time to breathe, as well as incorporating more nutrient-dense, stress-busting foods.  Check out my highly recommended products here

4) Exercise – DO YOGA – especially some heart-opening poses!

Exercise is a sure way to quickly drop cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease by raising HDL.  Physical activity can also help to reduce excess weight, diabetes and high blood pressure.

This month, try some of our Yoga Rocks! Partner Poses such as Open Heart and Hugs and Kisses 
and also check out these heart-openers by one of my most favorite yogis, Kristin McGee 

For more inspiration, check out Jeannine as a New Faculty Member of Kids Yoga Academy,  
Find YRK Classes Near You and take a look at our
Updated Kids Yoga Workshops and Teacher Training

5) Cook and Bake for Someone You Love

This, I believe could be the most beneficial and heart-healthy thing you can do!  When you cook for someone, you increase endorphins and other important heart-healthy hormones.  This makes you feel happy and you can enter that blissful state of gratitude, acceptance and peace.  Now, its even better when you end the meal with a special homemade dessert!  This year I am loving these healthy heart cookies!


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