Valentine’s Day may be behind us, but this month is the perfect time to nurture your heart, thanks to Pharmasave Parksville’s second Health Hive Challenge.
Focusing on building healthy, sustainable habits, each month the Health Hive targets a unique theme. Building on last month’s focus on drinking enough water to support our overall wellness, this month it’s time to talk heart health!
Designed by Natural Health Consultant Cindy Walker as a fun, engaging opportunity for learning and improving clients’ wellness, participants receive valuable health tips and information, bonus Pharmasave Rewards points, exclusive store discounts, prizes and more. Even better, you can sign up at any time for these four-week long interactive challenges. Just for signing up, you’ll receive 800 bonus Pharmasave Rewards points!
Show your heart a little love
Why focus on heart health? According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, 90 per cent of Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease. At the same time, close to “80 per cent of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented through healthy behaviours,” the Foundation notes.
What are some of the ways you can show your heart a little love?
- Follow a heart-healthy diet – Build lots of fruits and vegetables into your daily routine, along with whole grains and plant-based or lean proteins. Avoid overly processed foods that can be high in salt and sugar. Walker also recommends incorporating superfoods and/or natural health supplements into your daily routine to optimize heart health and/or to counteract the deficiencies that can be caused by taking some medications. Magnesium acts as a versatile natural solution to address many of these concerns.
- Kick smoking to the curb – Did you know that smoking triples the risk of dying from heart disease and stroke in middle-aged individuals? This includes vaping! Acknowledging that quitting isn’t easy, the Pharmasave team can provide help and support in this process to help prevent the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Avoid excessive alcohol and drug use – Both can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
- Increase your activity level – Being active helps boost both your heart health and the health of your brain. Many different types of physical activity can elevate your heart rate, including: walking/hiking, practicing yoga, cycling, or trying your hand at a fun sport, like pickleball! This month’s Health Hive Challenge gets you started with tracking and logging 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity per week and participating in a Push-Up Challenge twice weekly to increase strength through bodyweight training. To rev up your heart rate, and engage your upper body/core, Walker recommends adding urban walking poles to your walking routine for added benefits.
- Reduce stress – Beyond our emotional well-being, high or prolonged levels of stress can affect cholesterol and blood pressure. Take steps to reduce stress through exercise, relaxation, connection and mindfulness, for example. Shop Pharmasave’s selection of chakra balancing stones, essential oils, journals, and other items that can take your self-care to the next level.
“While improving your heart health – and reducing your risk factors for heart disease and stroke – can seem overwhelming, even small steps can make a difference,” notes Walker, who reminds Health Hive participants that it takes an average of 66 days for a new behaviour to become a habit. “It’s important to start small, and build on your successes as you go.”
Start boosting your heart health today: The Health Hive Challenges empower participants to set and achieve reasonable targets, and offer a built-in support system for accountability. To enroll, fill out the registration form at the bottom of the Natural Health page, e-mail Cindy Walker at email@example.com, or inquire in-store.