Self-Care in Action
Yoga, Heart-Healthy Cooking Demos Highlight Heart Month
It’s the second American Heart Month occurring during the pandemic, but NIH employees found a way to celebrate National Wear Red Day on Feb. 4 and launch the month-long observance. Even though most were kept apart physically, they joined together virtually to help promote a heart-healthy lifestyle.
This year’s theme was self-care, which focuses on activities you can do to improve your heart health. That includes things like healthy eating, getting physical activity, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress.
The celebration kicked off with a virtual yoga demonstration featuring NIH fitness instructor Shannon Oussoren, who led participants in a series of stretches and breathing exercises. The host of the event was Dr. David Goff, director of NHLBI’s Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, who also participated in the yoga demo.
“It’s been a stressful time and during stressful times, it’s incredibly important to make time for your heart,” Goff said. “When you take time every day, even if it’s just 10-minute chunks, to move a bit more, breathe or stretch, it makes a lot of difference…And if you ever feel like you’re not doing enough, well, give yourself a little bit of a break. Research shows that self-compassion is good for the heart.”
The month’s celebration also included a heart-healthy cooking demonstration on Feb. 11.
Sponsored by Eurest and The Heart Truth, the demonstration featured Tom Fiammetta, Eurest regional executive chef, and Michelle Sadlowski, Eurest eastern division wellness director. They prepared tomato bruschetta, red snapper and asparagus with lemon sauce. All the items were DASH-friendly, meaning they followed a dietary pattern designed to prevent high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease.
If you missed the yoga and cooking events, you can still watch them in the past events section on The Heart Truth Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/hearttruth/past_hosted_events. You can also visit www.nhlbi.nih.gov/HeartMonth for resources that can help you make heart-healthy lifestyle changes in the future.