“Your blood pressure is 103 over 77, that’s low,” said the Walgreens’ pharmacist. “Are you taking any blood pressure medication?” “No, but I did do my morning meditation,” I replied. “Good for you, keep up whatever you’re doing” said the nice pharmacist.
I went to Walgreens earlier this week after being asked to participate in their #HeartHealthGoals campaign, which includes offers for FREE blood pressure tests, plus Balance Reward points for healthy choices® and other vitamin and supplement purchases to help maintain a healthy heart. You can also get points for logging your blood pressure, tracking activity like walking or cycling, and setting healthy goals.*
February is American ♥ Heart ♥ Month
Each February, in honor of American Heart Month, I put on my red attire and share helpful reminders on ways to take care of your heart.
In yoga, we always seal our intentions into our heart. It’s the center of our mind, body and spirit — an organ that nourishes the entire body and keeps us moving and grooving. As a post 50 female, with a family history of diabetes and heart disease from my late dad and high cholesterol from my late mom, taking care of my heart health is top on my wellness agenda.
Exercising For A Healthy Heart
A recent survey, conducted by the Cleveland Clinic (and reported on TODAY.com Health and Wellness), found that “many of us aren’t getting the recommended amount of exercise — 2.5 hours per week — and that part of the reason might be that very few, just one in five, know what the recommendations are.” Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman for the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic says, “a lot of people don’t appreciate how important exercise is for your heart.”
In addition to my mediation and yoga practices, I’ve recently started doing more cardio workouts to get my heart pumping for peak performance. Learning to use an elliptical machine at the gym has been a crowning achievement for me the past month. (Go Judi! Go Judi! Go Judi!)
Eating For A Healthy Heart
Unfortunately, I am allergic to statins, so I try to use dietary ways to lower my cholesterol. It’s an ongoing struggle, with my last blood test showing a total cholesterol level of 249, down from 277 a year ago. Thankfully, my HDL, the happy cholesterol in my body, is high, which helps to counteract my high LDL levels, the bad stuff.
To help manage my cholesterol, I try to follow a Mediterranean diet, using olive oil in my cooking, and adding fish, vegetables, and whole grains to my daily diet. I also eat almonds every day, which have been shown to lower cholesterol. According to research from Penn State, a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating almonds every day was linked to signs of better heart health, including a 36% greater drop in LDL cholesterol as compared to when participants snacked on muffins.
Take Time This February To Take Care of Your Heart
I encourage you to take time this month to take care of your heart. Get your blood pressure checked for FREE at your local Walgreens. If you can’t get there, there’s plenty of heart health tips on Walgreens.com, including information on understanding blood pressure readings, cholesterol goals, and how to live a heart healthy lifestyle.
Most importantly, always check with your doctor before starting any exercise or supplement treatment. And know the signs of a heart attack – it’s different for women than for men.
What intention do you plan to seal into your heart this month? Whatever you choose, add an extra one for heart health.
♥ Start with a FREE blood pressure test and get 500 BONUS POINTS.*
♥ Plus, earn points when you monitor and maintain your heart health. Learn more at Walgreens.com/BloodPressure.
Plus, receive coupons to earn:†
♥ 5000 BONUS POINTS when you buy any Walgreens brand automatic blood pressure monitor
♥ 5000 Balance® Reward points with purchase of 4 Walgreens brand vitamins and supplements
***Not available in AR, NJ or NY. Must present Balance® Rewards card in pharmacy to redeem offer.
Offer valid 1/31/16-2/27/16 only.
No purchase necessary. Limit one redemption per card member. Restrictions apply. Due to state and federal laws, points cannot be earned or redeemed on some items, and points will not be earned in a transaction where store credit or redemption dollars are used. See full terms and details at Walgreens.com/Balance.
†Coupons print at register. Restrictions, exclusions and expirations apply to coupon redemption. See coupon for details.
Balance® Rewards members earn points on qualifying purchases. See details at Walgreens.com/Balance.
*Note: I was asked to participate in the #HeartHealthGoals campaign, sponsored by Walgreens. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.