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Matters of the Heart

February is almost here and the month is all about the heart, especially on Valentine's Day. But what about the rest of the month?

The heart is one of the strongest muscles in the body, so what are some ways to keep it beating for many years to come?

Changing your diet is one way to keep the heart healthy, just by adding more fish and non-red meats can decrease the risk of heart disease. Cold water fish are low in fat and are high in omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to lower a person’s risk of heart disease. Removing salt and replacing it with more complex carbohydrates has also been shown to increase heart function. These are just a few examples of how changing diet can help keep the heart healthy, but diet does not have to be done alone; exercise is another key factor in heart health. Exercise helps to increase the good cholesterol in the body, HDL cholesterol, and lowers blood pressure so the heart does not have to pump as hard. Sometimes finding the motivation to exercise alone can be difficult but group exercise is a wonderful way to find extra motivation. Working with another group of people provides a sense of accountability, especially if you are all working towards the same goal. Group exercises also come in multiple different forms such as kickboxing, spin, and Pilates, just to name a few. With such a variety, group fitness classes cultivate an environment that can be more fun and more motivational than a traditional workout.

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