February is for hearts of all kinds: the candy conversation ones, the paper valentine ones, and the healthy beating ones. The first two are a good reminder about the third, as American Heart Month reminds us all to pause and check in with our tickers.
There are several elements to heart health, and it's more important than ever to make sure you're focusing on each of them.
Here are four ways to get — and stay —heart-healthy.
1. Eat better
It's seems obvious, right? Preparing and eating meals that are low in saturated fat, high in fiber, go easy on the sodium, and rely on plant-based proteins instead of cholesterol-heavy meats can help keep obesity and blood pressure in check — and drastically reduce your risk for heart disease.
Our food editor Teresa Gubbins just happened to recently compile a handy list of restaurants offering healthy dishes, as well as report on the opening of a trendy new vegan spot in downtown Dallas. CultureMap correspondent Malcom Mayhew put together his own list of eateries in Fort Worth, while Celestina Blok tipped us off to a new juice bar in the Keller/Alliance area.
And don't forget about farmers markets. These havens for fresh produce support local farmers, artisans, and ranchers, and feature in-season goodies. There are two new ones opening in East Dallas this spring, and we can't forget about the OG, the Dallas Farmers Market. If you're clueless about cooking and choosing produce, tune into their podcast to get educated about all things seasonal and check out all the good recipes.
2. Move more
Looking for something other than the traditional jogging/yoga/barre/HIIT classes? We've got you. Here's a roundup of out-of-the-box fitness classes and studios in Dallas-Fort Worth, with everything from land-surfing to aerial yoga to boxing. Another great way to try out all the classes your heart desires is with ClassPass, which is available in both Fort Worth and Dallas.
If you are seeking more standard ideas, now's a great time to try one of Dallas' best: Grit by Brit. Her Spread the Love challenge comes with unlimited guest passes through February 20, 2021, and members get sweet perks for bringing along their buddies.
Over in Coppell, a new cycling/stretching/HIIT concept from SMU grad Rachael Larson Daniel called Hustle Studios is also doing a February challenge. Called Body Love, it's a Bingo-like game where you win a Hustle sweatshirt if you black out your card by doing things like take five classes in one week or donate to a charity.
3. Prioritize mental health
Stress sucks, both for your well-being and your body. Lower your blood pressure by embarking on mindfulness certification training from Dallas Yoga Center (the next livestreamed session starts March 6) or direct your energy toward maintaining a bonsai tree from Sunshine Miniature Trees (which is also run by the owner of Dallas Yoga Center).
Tap into the skills of Laura Martinez, who's the great-granddaughter of a famous healer and now uses her master's in clinical mental health in one-on-one sessions, meditative journeys, and ceremonies and rituals for those seeking more mental and emotional clarity.
You can also explore meditation from the Brahma Kumaris, which was founded in 1937 and is headquartered in India but has outposts in Farmers Branch, Arlington, and more than 100 other locations around the world. Due to coronavirus, all sessions are taking place virtually.
4. Sexual healing
Hey, it's an important part of health that especially deserves some love around Valentine's Day. Surprise your sweetie or your galentines with a buzzy gift basket from Foxtrot, which for the first time is partnering with the female-founded and led company Dame.
Making sexual health a priority can significantly improve a person’s emotional, physical and mental well-being, as well as enhance their intimate relationships and quality of life, and Foxtrot is bringing it to your door in an hour.
You can choose from several Valentine's Day-themed gift baskets that include Dame vibrators, bottles of bubbly, and chocolates (both regular and CBD-infused), starting as low as $45.
For more heart-healthy resources, head to the American Heart Association.