From the heart: tips for a healthy heart

8 Feb 2022 05:00AM by Virgin Active


This Valentine’s Day, we’re not just talking about loving your significant other; we’re talking about practicing a little bit of self-love every day. Your heart is the powerhouse of your body. It keeps blood flowing and works without you even having to think about it. When it comes to staying healthy, looking after your heart is key. 

Here’s some tips on how you can make your heart your one true love. 

Work it

Exercise has so many great benefits, including for your heart. Elevating your heart rate helps to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and keep your blood sugar in check. That’s not to mention the fact that it strengthens your heart too – it is a muscle after all! 

But, before you start thinking that you need to factor in a 30 minute workout every day, remember that your fitness journey may look different. If you’re ready to start working out for your heart, take it slow. Start with a brisk walk for as much time as you have to spare and build it up from there. 

When you’re ready, we’d also say that it’s a good idea to try lots of different exercises. Not only will this benefit your heart but it will also help you find an exercise that you’re passionate about and want to keep coming back to. 

If you’ve already got a regular workout routine that leaves your heart pumping, keep up the good work! 

Eat for your heart

Whatever you put in your mouth directly affects all parts of your body. Rather than immediately revamping your entire diet, why not make a good choice for your next meal? Next time you’re deciding what to eat, consider what benefit it will have on your heart. 

Find things that make you happy that aren’t high in salt and aren’t high in saturated fat. Don’t forget to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables too as they’re full of helpful vitamins and minerals. 

Find some me-time

It’s no secret that stress has a negative impact on our bodies and can cause physical effects if not kept under control. That’s why as well as group exercise classes and gym equipment, you’ll also find relaxing spa facilities at the majority of our clubs. De-stress and unwind after a workout or just because you feel like it. You deserve it, so go on. 

If it’s not hanging out in the spa, you could always try reading before bed, watching your favourite programme or losing yourself in a mindful activity, like cooking. 

Sleep for recovery

The importance of sleep is a well-researched topic and it’s vital for helping our body recover and repair. During our sleep, our bodies regenerate and create new cells, process information gathered in the day and release hormones. Though it’s not clear exactly how the heart benefits from sleep, we do know that getting enough of it can reduce your chance of heart-related illness. 

So there you have it. How will you look after your heart this Valentine’s Day?

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