This year, AHVI is a major sponsor of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Healthy for Good movement. Healthy for Good is a new, exciting movement dedicated to whole-body health and wellness. Their approach is simple: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be well. The campaign’s goal is to encourage individuals to make lasting lifestyle changes. At AHVI, we take this to heart (pun intended). We’ve coupled our partnership with our own internal health initiatives to inspire staff and patients alike for a happier, healthier community.

Eat smart. AHA offers great recipes and nutritional information in an easy-to-navigate environment for you to take advantage of. Diet changes can be daunting. In order to create lasting change, start with small adjustments to your current diet to work your way to a heart-healthy diet. AHA recommends beginning with portion control and cutting out excess sugars. Start with this: limit the amount of sweets you eat, check nutrition labels on packaging, choose simple foods over processed products, rinse canned fruits if they’re in syrup.

Add color. Simply add more colors to your meals by incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables with every meal and snack. Trade baby carrots and sugar snap peas for potato chips and try fresh fruit smoothies instead of sodas- every little bit helps and puts you one step closer to whole-body health!

Move more. Walking is the best way to immediately add more physical activity to your schedule. AHA says to aim for a total of 150 minutes of activity each week. Physical activity is anything that gets your heart beating-walking, running, lifting weights, playing sports, riding your bicycle-make movement an important and necessary part of your schedule and your body will thank you. The benefits of regular activity include increased energy levels, reduced stress, weight loss, and reduced risk of heart disease.

Be Well. Whole-body health and wellness includes a healthy mind. The effects of stress are real and can lead to physical symptoms and health issues. Fight stress by slowing down and prioritizing the tasks at hand. Getting organized can greatly reduce stress and allow you to think clearly. Additionally, getting enough sleep plays a major role in our overall mental and physical health; most of us need 6-8 hours each night. Develop a bedtime routine to establish a schedule and get on track. Other key pieces to the wellness puzzle include being social and laughing with friends and family, kicking bad habits (i.e. smoking, excess alcohol and caffeine intake), and regular physical activity.

Internally, we’ve made whole-body health and fitness a priority. We’re creating opportunities for staff to get active, even while at the office. Daily walks to break up the day, various walking/fitness incentives, and a weekly Zumba class-we encourage fitness and activity for all for a healthier body, mind, and heart.

Learn more at American Heart association and Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute.