Oh, lovely February, the month where all you see at the grocery store are heart-shaped balloons by the fruit, heart-shaped chocolate boxes next to the milk, and big stuffed teddy bears holding a heart next to the cereal. Thank you, February for reminding us that we all need that special heart in our lives.
Every year, 1 in 4 deaths is caused by heart disease.
It’s true we all need to treat our hearts like the special thing that keeps us going. Did you know the entire month of February is American Heart Month? Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States. Each year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of those people, 40% have already experienced a heart attack. A little scary right?
We have to take action now to make sure that we have a healthy heart. Here are a couple of things that you can do in the office to improve your health and prevent heart disease:
Did your office give you a stress ball with their logo on it? Stress balls aren’t made to collect dust and sit on the corner of your desk. They decrease stress and tension, which can help improve sleep. Handing multiple projects throughout the day can be stressful. Take a three-minute break and play with your stress ball.
Don’t sit for too long at one time:
It’s true, in most office jobs we are all just sitting at our desk, working on our projects. We only get up when it’s time for lunch, restroom breaks or headed to a meeting. Offices are now incorporating stand-up desks. These desks allow you to work comfortably while standing. Stand-up desks can also help lower the risk of obesity and diabetes, increase productivity, and improve mood. Talk to your manager and see how you can get a stand-up desk in your office space. You can also schedule your standing, set an alarm every hour so you can stand at least for 10 minutes.
Get regular exercise:
Exercise in the office! Everyday schedule a different exercise every hour. These exercises can be anything like toe touches, squats, and pacing in place. The point is to get the blood flowing while burning a couple of calories. Free apps like Stand Up! The Work Break Timer can help you exercise every hour or depending on your schedule.
Eating healthy is the key to living a healthier life. Bring in your lunch more frequently. Cook with different spices instead of adding salt. Replace your midday snack with fruits and/or vegetables. If you’re the type of person that usually buys lunch, look at all of your options. Instead of ordering a bacon cheeseburger, go out for sushi.
Smoking cigarettes raises blood pressure causing you to be at a higher risk for a heart attack and stroke. Quitting smoking can be difficult. If you are a smoker take fewer smoke breaks. Try to limit how much you do smoke. Try alternatives like nicotine patches. Make sure you talk to your doctor to find the best way for you to quit smoking.
These are day-to-day things that we can improve in our lives. Every small thing helps. So now when you are waiting for the cashier to ring you out, and you notice the heart-shaped Valentine’s Card. Just know that you are doing your best to keep your heart red and healthy.