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School of Medicine
6 Healthy Heart Splurges
Making heart-healthy choices shouldn’t be drudgery. In fact, a Johns Hopkins heart disease expert says it can be downright enjoyable.
The easiest path to a heart-healthy lifestyle contains things that you actually like to do. Pleasant activities are more likely to become habits, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Seth Martin, M.D., M.H.S.
Among behaviors worth looking forward to that also happen to be smart for a healthy heart:
Chill time, just for you
Sleep in (or nap!)
Spend one-on-one time with your partner
A little help from your friends
Exercising with a companion or a group helps you lose weight and maintain weight loss, Martin says. “But more important, exercising with others makes it more enjoyable—you’re not grinding away in the gym by yourself.” He’s a fan of fitness classes and walking or biking groups, for example. Or try adding competitive oomph to workouts by competing with a friend through fitness apps.
Go out to eat
And yes, even treat yourself to some chocolate
Dark chocolate (check the labels for at least 70 percent cocoa) is full of that protect blood vessels and can help blood pressure for a healthy heart. Extra good for you: dark-chocolate-covered almonds and walnuts. “Just eat them in moderation,” Martin says. “A couple of ounces a day can satisfy a sweet tooth.”