The following article was first published on the American Heart Association website, heart.org, on September 1, 2021.
As we delve into yet another unpredictable case due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Heart Association, a global force behind longer, healthier lives for all, urges people to take the time to look after their bodies and minds for a to maintain better overall health.
“After the past few months have messed up many of our typical routines, this fall is a great opportunity to roll back and resume a more consistent work, school, and family schedule. Start small by making a commitment to eat more meals as a family, said Anne Thorndike, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, director of the Metabolic Syndrome Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and honorary chairman of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee.
“Routines can be a great way to create structure and clarity in busy or stressful times of the year. Therefore, planning meals at home or regular exercise is not only good for physical health, but also for managing stress. “
When it comes to meals, there are plenty of clever ways to add nutritious ingredients, recalls Bridget Wojciak, director of nutrition at Kroger Health, a national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for GoodTM initiative, which helps people make positive and lasting change to effect step by step in your health and well-being.
“It is a helpful attitude to wonder what to add to a meal instead of taking it away, such as what to add to a meal. “Experiment with new recipes and new preparations and find out what works best for your family.”
In addition to meals to consciously bond, the American Heart Association offers these healthy tips for a healthier fall:
1. Pull the plug to establish a connection: September is a great reminder to regularly eat at home with the family. Family meals reduce stress, increase self-esteem and make the whole family feel connected. To help families have more fun eating, the American Heart Association offers topics of conversation that are suitable for all ages.
2. Enjoy seasonal flavors: Autumn brings new seasonal products and recipe inspiration for family dinners. Sign up to receive a free cookbook of heart-healthy, delicious recipes from the American Heart Association and Kroger Health, a national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for GoodTM initiative.
3rd Spend time outside: Take advantage of the cooler temperatures by being outdoors for better physical and mental wellbeing. Being outdoors has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood. If you have a pet, move together! It’s a win-win for the health of you and your pet.
4th Shop smart: Grocery shopping at any time of the year can be overwhelming. To find foods that can be part of a heart-healthy diet, look out for the American Heart Association’s Heart Check Mark.
5. Say thank you: Chronic or constant stress can be detrimental to health, so it is important to build habits to relieve stress. A good place to start is practicing gratitude. Each day, write down three things you are grateful for, or reach out to a friend or family member and tell them how much you appreciate them.
For more tips and recipes for a healthy heart and mind, visit heart.org/eatsmartmonth.
The American Heart Association is a tireless force for longer, healthier lives. We are committed to fair health in all communities. Working with numerous organizations and supported by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate public health, and share life-saving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a premier source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter, or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
Source: American Heart Association