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A Healthy Heart

Tips on How to Keep Your Heart in Good Shape

February may be Heart Health Month, but it’s important to employ heart healthy practices every day.  The heart is an important muscle that pumps blood to the body.  “The heart is very important to the body, it supplies blood to the organs and tissues.  You need to keep your heart healthy so that it functions properly,” Anjli Giri, MSPT, CYT tells us.

So what can you do to keep your heart healthy?  A solid exercise plan is a great pace to start. “30 minutes of daily aerobic exercise is great for the heart,” Anjli tells us.  “Jogging, walking briskly, cycling, any of these types of exercises help improve circulation, which results in lowered blood pressure and heart rate. Try to get to your target heart rate.  Your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age and your target heart rate is 50-70% (for moderate exercise) of your maximum heart rate.”

Strength training helps the heart too.  A few days of lifting weights can help reduce body fat and create leaner muscle mass.  Research shows that a combination of cardio and weights may help raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. 

A healthy diet also keeps the heart in good health.  Fresh veggies, salmon, and avocado are good choices. “Salmon and guacamole are loaded with healthy fats that are good for the heart. Almonds and nuts are good too,” Anjli says.

Some foods to stay away from include sugary foods, red meat, and processed foods.  Also, don’t smoke and keep your stress level to a minimum.  

It’s also important to know your numbers.  “Keep track of your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides,” Anjli suggests. "And be sure to manage blood pressure (no more than 120/80mmHg).  This can be tracked at home with a simple monitor."

Living a healthy lifestyle will keep your heart healthy.  For more tips on heart health, visit www.heart.org.

Recipe:

Oven-Roasted Salmon with Lemon Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS

1 lemon

2 bulbs fennel, thinly sliced

2 small red onions, thinly sliced

2 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and pepper

1 1/4 lb. skin-on salmon fillet

1 tsp. stone-ground mustard

3 cups baby arugula

DIRECTIONS

1.     Heat broiler. Cut pointed ends off lemon, halve crosswise, and place on a rimmed baking sheet, center cut sides up. Broil on top rack until charred, 5 minutes; transfer to a plate and set aside. 

2.     Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. On rimmed baking sheet, toss fennel and onions with 1 1/2 Tbsp oil and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper; arrange around edges of sheet. Place salmon in center of sheet and season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are tender and salmon is opaque throughout, 17 to 20 minutes. 

3.     Juice charred lemon halves into a small bowl and whisk in mustard and remaining Tbsp oil. Remove baking sheet from oven and fold arugula into vegetables. Drizzle charred lemon vinaigrette over fish and vegetables and gently toss vegetables.

Serving Size: 2

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