Mardi Gras is a celebration of life on the Gulf Coast, but it also happens to fall during American Heart Month, so this year, we’re celebrating heart health with Cardi Gras! Join the Memorial Krewe of Healthy Hearts by taking these steps for a healthy heart that’s the life of the party for years to come:
Keep it skinny on Fat Tuesday
- Swap fried foods for grilled or baked options. Instead of fried chicken or seafood, opt for grilled or baked versions. You’ll still get the delicious flavor without all the extra oil and calories.
- Choose lean proteins. Mardi Gras is known for its hearty dishes, but that doesn’t mean they have to be high in fat. Opt for lean proteins like chicken, turkey, or fish.
- Fill up on vegetables. Incorporate plenty of vegetables into your meals, whether it’s a salad, roasted veggies, or vegetable gumbo. They’ll provide you with fiber and nutrients while keeping you feeling full.
- Watch your portion sizes. Mardi Gras is a time to indulge, but it’s important to keep an eye on your portion sizes.
- Stay hydrated. With all the indulgent food and drinks, it’s important to stay hydrated. Opt for water or unsweetened beverages instead of sugary drinks.
Take the second line down to see your primary care provider
If it’s beignet a while since you’ve had a wellness exam, now is the time to schedule your appointment. By establishing a routine around getting check-ups and building a relationship with your primary care provider, you’re taking charge of your health. These annual visits help identify potential issues before they become larger problems. Your physician can then find solutions to get you back to living your best life.
Move to the beat!
Aerobic exercise improves your blood circulation, resulting in lowered blood pressure and heart rate. This reduces your chances of heart disease and stroke while improving the overall strength of your heart. Aerobic exercise includes things like walking down the parade route or dancing to the sound of your favorite jazz band! Spice things up by adding in some strength training with your aerobic exercise to help raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, also potentially reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Don’t just focus on your heart health during February, follow these heart-healthy tips throughout the year and keep the party going by getting jazzed about heart health!