Celebrate National Heart Month with 1:1:1

February is National Heart Month–and with the start of the new year already a month behind us, it’s the perfect time to reinforce the healthy behaviors you’ve been learning. Learn how to apply the concepts of The One One One Diet to all aspects of your well-being for better heart health today!

H – Happiness

It has been established in research that negative emotions can negatively harm the body, eventually leading to chronic disease. But that’s only part of the equation: new research is emerging that shows that positive emotions can have a protective effect on health! In a 2007 Harvard study, researchers found that emotional vitality–“a sense of enthusiasm, of hopefulness, of engagement in life, and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance”–was a factor in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. And eating the foods you want to eat is definitely a key factor in happiness–which is why The One One One Diet lets you eat all of the foods you crave!

E – Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

On the One One One plan, veggies are free–you can eat as many as you want! And fruits are filled with satiating fiber and health-boosting nutrients. Plenty of research has tied fruit and vegetable intake with better health outcomes: according to the Nurses’ Health Study, individuals who ate eight or more servings a day versus less than 1.5 servings a day were 30% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

A – Active

Your heart is a muscle, and like all muscles, it becomes stronger when you work out. Apply the same tenets of The One One One Diet to exercise: include equal parts of cardiovascular exercise (like running or biking), strength or resistance training (like weight lifting), and stretching or relaxation (like yoga) in your workout routine. If you’re new to working out, start out with one hour three times a week; if you’re a seasoned pro, add in a few more days as time permits!

R – Reduce stress

Left unchecked, stress can lead to unhealthy behaviors that affect your heart health. Balance your stress with the three stress management techniques described in the book: contemplation, meditation, and respiration. A few simple ways to decrease stress right now: get a massage, pedicure, or facial; spend 15 minutes playing with your cat or dog; or go read that magazine you’ve been stashing for later!

T – Touch

Did you know that just one twenty second hug is enough to stimulate the release of oxytocin, the “bonding” or “happy” hormone? The release of oxytocin can help reduce blood pressure, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease as well as levels of stress and anxiety. It also creates a sense of wellbeing and happiness, so you can reap the benefits right away. Next time you see your partner, children, parents, siblings, a friend–anyone!–give them a long hug–you’ll both feel better for it!