Four Fun Ways to Celebrate World Heart Day

By Sheila Collins

Four Fun Ways to Celebrate World Heart Day

As you read this, your heart beats in your chest and pumps life into your body. This September 29th, celebrate World Heart Day with these four ways to be kind to your heart. Founded in 2000, World Heart Day is an initiative of the World Heart Federation that aims to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. World Heart Day is a good reminder to assess your heart health and risk factors, but it’s also the perfect time to celebrate the hardest working muscle in the body.

Sleep In

Before a big day of celebration, you’ll need your rest. Turns out, getting a good night’s sleep is important for your heart health as well. According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly one-third of American adults don’t get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can lead to high blood pressure, one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke. So, go ahead and hit the snooze button. Your heart will thank you.

Go Outside and Play

Mother (Nature) knows best. Recent studies have shown that spending time outside—hiking, bird-watching or gardening—can lower cortisol levels and blood pressure. The great outdoors isn’t just great for your physical health; researchers have also found that an afternoon in the woods can improve mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Best of all? Unlike a gym, the outdoors doesn’t charge a membership fee.

Spend Time With the Grandkids

As if you needed an excuse. Recent studies have shown that grandparents who even occasionally participated in their grandchildren’s lives tended to live longer. Consider heart-healthy activities that you’ll both enjoy, such as a walk to the playground or a stroll through the park. Don’t have grandchildren? Spend time with nieces, nephews or neighbors. (Bonus: you’ll make their parents’ day, too!)

Prepare a Special Dinner

Luckily, there are lots of heart-healthy foods that are also delicious (dark chocolate anyone?). If you need some inspiration for your World Heart Day feast, check out Cooking in Color, the new cookbook from AARP and the American Heart Association. This handy guide can help you choose and prepare foods that support cardiovascular health.

The cookbook is a part of the Let’s Be Well Healthy Heart Box™, a treasure trove of heart-smart tools like walking weights, a healthy heart journal and a grocery store map. Useful all year-round, they make a great gift for your friends and loved ones on World Heart Day—or any day!