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Four Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Our hearts. They’re the little pumps that keep us going

Our fast-paced lifestyles are getting faster, so we resort to fast meals that give us higher highs and even lower lows. South Africans are slowing down, getting bigger, cases of heart disease are on the rise… and our hearts just have to keep up.

FOUR WAYS TO KEEP YOUR HEART HEALTHY

Easy ways to take care of your ticker this year:

1. KNOW YOUR FAMILY HISTORY

Knowing if you have a history of heart disease in your family is a good step in the right direction. This information is vital, especially if you happen to have a high risk for heart disease and other heart conditions.

Once you know your family history, you will be able to make informed decisions regarding your lifestyle, diet, exercise regime and other important areas that will help you reduce your risk for heart disease.

Here is a useful family health history tool that will help you keep tabs on the heart health of your family.

2. TAKE THE STAIRS

We hate to hear it, but this is a no-brainer. Exercise is one of the keys to maintaining a healthy heart. There are ways to fit a little workout into a busy schedule. You just need to be smart about it.

As a rule for myself, if a building consists of less than five storeys I try and take the stairs up to the floor I need to be on (which is great for your legs) and the elevator down (to ease the impact of going downstairs on the knees).

No time for exercise? Why not try using a standing desk? Aside from making you look super trendy and highly efficient (and who doesn’t want that?), these desks are a great way to help you increase blood circulation without you having to break the routine of your day.

3. REDUCE YOUR STRESS

If you need a mantra for the year, here’s one that I live by: deep breaths reduce stress.

Have you ever noticed just how shallow our breathing is during the day? It’s no wonder we’re so uptight and tire so easily. We’re not breathing properly.

A recent study featured in TIME Magazine indicated that focused breathing (in through one nostril and out through the other) made a massive difference to mood and energy levels. Obviously we can’t focus on our breathing all the time – we’d never get anything done. Taking just two minutes a couple of times a day to simply breathe a little deeper can make such a difference in our stress levels, and therefore, our hearts.

4. EAT APPLES

According to a recent study featured by the Daily Mail, eating two apples a day could decrease our risk for heart disease.

Apples are high in dietary fiber and antioxidants, and have been shown to reduce risks for heart disease and other chronic illnesses. While fresh apples are always good to have, dried apples also have a lot of benefits that you might not have realised:

THEY’RE CONVENIENT

Dried apples are great as a lunchbox treat for your kids, helping to keep those energy levels up throughout the day. While fresh apples are great, they don’t stay fresh for long. Dried apples stay fresher for longer, so you can keep them in a sealed container at home, at work or in the car. They also have all the concentrated goodness that fresh apples have.

THEY’RE HEALTHY

Instead of reaching for that chocolate bar for a pick-me-up, why not keep some dried apples in your handbag for when you need a snack on-the-go? Pop a packet in your gym bag for an energy boost before or after your gym session.

THEY’RE VERSATILE

The best part is, eating apples needn’t be boring. There are numerous recipes using dried apples and you can find two of them in the recipe section on our website

Visit a Montagu store near you for choice grade apple wedges.

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