The Pulse of SchoolCare, February 2021

4 Ways to boost heart health a little each day

Published February 1, 2021

With American Heart Month underway, we encourage you to reflect on self-care habits. Do they include heart-healthy behaviors? According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to protect your heart and stay healthy.

Heart-healthy living involves knowing your risk, understanding what steps to take, and incorporating healthful habits into your routine.  Here are 4 ways you can show your heart a little love:

  1. See if you're eligible for Omada. We could all use a little help now and then to stay motivated when it comes to our heart health. Have you heard about Omada? Omada is a lifestyle change program for those at risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol.  If you’re eligible, it’s a great way to get the tools and support you need to build heart-healthy habits that last. Learn more in the video on the right. 

    Take a moment to see if you’re eligible.

    NOTE: You’ll receive the program for up to 2 years at no additional cost if you or your adult dependents are enrolled in the SchoolCare medical plan offered through Cigna, are at risk for diabetes or heart disease, and are accepted into the program.

  2. Get Active. Even just adding 20 minutes of moderate physical activity into your day is a great way to show yourself care. While not everyone likes the idea of walking outside in a “winter wonderland”, there are easy ways to stay active from the comfort of home – here are some ideas to consider:
    • Walk around while on the phone with loved ones.
    • Stream free online exercise classes via YouTube. 
    • Challenge yourself to stand for every commercial break. 
    • Every time you use the stairs, take an extra lap just because you can.
  3. Eat to protect. Studies show that diet is linked to health risks such as heart disease and hypertension. Filling your diet with nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is crucial for heart health.  Not sure what to cook? Try one of these easy heart-healthy dinner ideas.
  4. Manage Stress. We all experience stress whether it’s from an unexpected bill, busy schedule, or facing life changes. Managing stress is important for your overall health. So, how can you conquer stress little by little each day? Here are some ideas: 
    • Take a hot bath or shower.
    • Set aside 5 minutes to stretch.
    • Stop and take deep breaths for even just 1 minute at a time.

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