From the Blog

Heart Healthy Habits

New Pioneer Food Co-op February 4


While February might be American Heart Month, it's important to think about making heart healthy choices with your habits and food all year long. Don't stress! We've made it easy. Take a look at these heart healthy habits and foods that you can quickly and easily incorporate into your day to day.

1. Make exercise a part of your regular routine

While it's recommended to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, 5 times a week, we understand that between work, errands, kids, and just life in general, that might not always happen. This month, make it a goal to schedule ways to move even if it's only for 10 minutes a day.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Go for a walk or run
  • Put some tunes on and dance
  • Do some jumping jacks
  • Jump rope
  • Walk and talk when you're on the phone
  • Suggest a walking meeting
  • Walk your pet
  • Bike to work

2. Get enough sleep each night

An essential part of keeping your heart healthy, getting a full night's sleep is something that tends to easily be overlooked. But similar to your body needing enough rest, your heart also needs rest. We give you permission to make sleep a priority this month! Try to get 6-8 hours of sleep a night this entire month.

Improve your sleep habits with these tips:

  • Go to sleep at the same time each night
  • Avoid caffeine during the day
  • If you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes - do some light reading from a book or magazine or listen to some calming music.
  • Put your phone & electronic devices away an hour before bed each night. 

3. Check your stress level

We get it, stress comes with life. But if you're feeling stressed out, chances are your heart is feeling the same. Help keep your blood pressure levels in check by taking a moment to breathe and find a sense of calm. Your heart will thank you!

Start destressing:

  • Take a few deep breaths
  • Connect with friends or loved ones
  • Reduce time on social media
  • Practice meditation
  • Sing and dance it out
  • Go for a walk or run
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Reduce coffee or caffeine intake

4. Choose heart healthy foods

Full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats, these foods are the perfect addition to any diet in order to eat right for both you and your heart:

  • Leafy greens: spinach, kale, collard greens
  • Whole grains: brown rice, oats, quinoa
  • Berries: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
  • Avocados
  • Fatty fish: salmon, sardines, and tuna
  • Seeds: chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds

Ready to incorporate these products into your favorite recipes? You can find these beautiful ingredients in all our locations.

New Pioneer Food Co-op About the Author

New Pioneer Food Co-op

New Pi is a food co-operative, owned by over 35,000 members, home-grown in Iowa. We welcome everyone to our store, regardless of membership, and focus on local and sustainable food solutions. New Pi has strong roots in Iowa City’s local food community, and continues to partner with local growers, food, and sustainability organizations to enrich Linn and Johnson County communities.