This time of year, everyone seems to have Valentine’s Day on the brain. It’s fast approaching, and there are red hearts everywhere.
If you’re heading to one of our rental homes South Carolina, either a luxury house on Isle of Palms or a Folly Beach house Charleston, you’re in for a fun holiday weekend – especially since it coincides with SEWE, the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.
Actually, the entire month of February is known as American Heart Month, and it has been ever since 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson declared it so. The idea is to promote heart health, and to educate people about its importance.
Heart health is a huge issue in this country. As President Obama recently stated in a federal declaration: “Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, is responsible for one out of every three deaths. It is the No. 1 killer of American women and men, and it is a leading cause of serious illness and disability.”
Apparently almost half of the people in America have at least one major risk factor for heart disease, yet often are not aware of it or are not taking any action.
The President went on to say: “That is why it is important to understand the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as obesity, inactivity and diabetes, and to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. By maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and not smoking, you can control risk factors and help protect your heart.”
Chances are, you know someone in your life that has been adversely affected by one of these heart conditions and possibly even died from it. It’s a wakeup call for all of us.
If you’re staying in one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals (or Folly Beach house rentals Charleston), you’re on the right track to reducing stress – a leading contributor to heart issues. You’re also likely to score points on the exercise front, since the beach is just steps from your Charleston beach house. Our luxury beach house rentals SC are close to so many great outdoor activities – water sports, boating, fishing, golf, tennis, running, hiking, you name it. But we need to stay vigilant and try to do the most we can each day, even holidays.
The American Heart Association works tirelessly to get the word out and to help educate the public to lead healthier, happier lives. Along these lines, they have issued 15 ideas for the coming holiday…
Tips for a heart-healthy Valentine’s Day*…
1. Rather than tempting your beloved with chocolates, consider a gift that has more permanence. Search for a poem that describes your feelings and write it on beautiful paper for a handmade Valentine.
2. Quality time is one of the most meaningful gifts. Bundle up and plan an active outing such as hiking, ice skating or gathering wood for a fire.
3. If your children are having a Valentine’s Day party at their school or day care, instead of sending candies, consider mini-boxes of raisins, mini-bags of pretzels, pencils or stickers as tokens of their friendly affection.
4. Cooking at home is an excellent way to control the quality and amounts of what you eat. Take a date to a local cooking class to practice your skills or learn a new technique.
5. Prepare a romantic candlelit dinner at home using a heart-healthy recipe.
6. If you go to a restaurant to celebrate, consider ordering one entree to share. Splitting is one strategy to avoid overeating.
7. Give to one another by giving back. Ask a date to volunteer with you at a local charity. Giving back is a healthy habit that will boost your mood and beat stress.
8. Get active inside. Winter is almost over, but there are plenty of ways to get moving indoors that don’t involve a gym membership. Start mall walking, hit the stairs at work, or check out a yoga video from the public library or your local video store.
9. Still craving something sweet? Send a fruit basket to your loved one that has natural sugar as well as healthy nutrients instead of sending sweets with added sugars.
10. Spice it up. Try cooking at home with healthier seasonings and avoid prepackaged mixes that may contain a lot of salt. Instead, add some spice with some fresh hot peppers. Remove the membrane and seeds first, then finely chop them up. A little goes a long way.
11. Don’t forget to love Fido. Give your pet a Valentine and remember to walk or exercise them daily. Getting active will benefit your health and your bond with your pets.
12. Take it slow. If you were gifted a luxurious box of chocolates from your sweetie stick it in the fridge or freezer and enjoy in moderation over several weeks.
13. One of the best things you can do for your heart is to give up smoking or help a loved one quit. Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death.
14. Try something new. Dare yourself to try a new fruit or vegetable. Next time you’re at the store, pick up something you’ve never made before. Many grocery stores have free recipe cards in the produce section or just type the food into your favorite search engine.
15. Stay hydrated. Staying properly hydrated helps you feel (and look) better and water is a great alternative to high-calorie, sugar-sweetened drinks. Treat yourself to a fun new water bottle to encourage the habit. If it’s always handy, you’re more likely to drink up.
So guard your heart, and have a great Valentine’s. And remember to call EP when you are in the market for SC vacation rentals, namely beach rentals Charleston. Our Isle of Palms luxury rentals are the best ones around.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
*Source: American Heart Association