Amanda Mills (photo courtesy of the American Heart Association)

Hoosiers, it’s time to Reclaim Your Rhythm.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all faced a lot of challenges. Many of us are emotionally spent, and it’s taking its toll on our physical health as well. Business leaders and employees are in need of resources to help them regain some stability.

February is American Heart Month, and it’s the perfect time to take back control of your physical health and mental well-being. As a leading health organization, the American Heart Association is committed to helping people, like you, create healthy habits that work best in your life.

Rally together with us through the power of music – the universal language that connects us, brings the good vibes, the movement, the flow. Music can help each of us get back on the beat, feeling the rhythm to take action and take control of our health.

My personal challenge to readers this month is to create a playlist – or playlists – that you can use all year that will motivate you to move more when it’s time to move more and to slow down and relax when it’s time to destress.

Once your playlists are ready, put some time and energy each month into the following five steps that will help you reclaim your rhythm and get back on track.

Mellow Out and Reduce Stress

A recent study shows that people with higher levels of optimism had a 35% decreased risk of heart disease, and we know that happy individuals tend to sleep better, exercise more and eat better, so step away from distractions and to-do lists and do what you need to do to re-charge.

Move to the Music

This may seem like a no-brainer, but exercise is good for the heart and soul. Physical activity not only lowers the risk of diseases it also improves mental health, cognitive function and lowers the risk of depression. So use your music to get moving.

Feed Your Soul

The right playlist can feed your soul, but so can a healthy meal. In 2022, I want to challenge you to reclaim family meal time. Growing evidence suggests that gathering around the table as a family helps us connect and decompress, leading to less stress, higher self-esteem and a stronger feeling of connection.

Stay on Beat with Blood Pressure

You’ve made it this far, so don’t skip this section. Nearly half of Hoosiers have high blood pressure, consistent readings of 130/80 or higher, but many don’t even know it. (It’s not called the silent killer for nothing.)

2022 is a great time to get back to your doctor for a preventative checkup. Talk about your risk factors for heart disease and other conditions, including what you can do to control your blood pressure.

Hoosiers, make the time to reclaim your rhythm this month. Because losing even one mother, brother, co-worker or friend to heart disease is too many. For more tips and resources, visit www.heart.org.

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