Have a Heart to Heart Conversation to Improve Heart Health
Have a heart to heart conversation with someone you love to help them achieve a heart healthy lifestyle.
This post was sponsored by Meta as part of an ongoing partnership. I was compensated for my time, but as always all opinions are my own.
All month long people have been celebrating Heart Health Month – from wearing red dresses on National Wear Red Day to eating flavonol-rich chocolate on Valentine’s Day, there’s been no shortage of ways to get in the heart health spirit. By now most people know what steps to take to live a heart-healthy lifestyle – eat enough fruits and vegetables, aim to meet the recommended dietary fiber intake, stay physically active, stop smoking if you currently do, moderate alcohol intake, and maintain a healthy body weight. But knowing is not necessarily doing.
If you know someone who needs a little nudge to start living a healthier lifestyle, now’s the perfect time to sit down and remind them what they need to do and why they should be doing it. Maybe it’s your spouse who needs a little extra support to get moving a few times a week (ahem, I hope my hubby’s reading this) or it could be the parent of one of your children’s best friends who isn’t taking care of herself and needs to set a better example for her children.
Or maybe it’s your own parents whose health is more important than ever as they get older. That was the case for legendary football player and Meta spokesperson Michael Strahan. In honor of Heart Month, Strahan sat down with his father to have a Heart 2 Heart conversation about his father’s heart health. There’s no doubt these heart to heart conversations are difficult, but Strahan has some tips for making them easier.
- Go into the conversation with a purpose. Make a few notes beforehand to keep the conversation on track. It’s really easy to venture down a road that both you and your loved one may not be completely comfortable discussing.
- Think about what you want to accomplish. If there’s an actionable goal that you want your loved one to set, help him develop a plan to get it done.
- Watch your tone. People can become really sensitive when you sit them down and tell them about themselves. Make sure that you are approaching the conversation as objectively as possible.
- Set an example. Leading by example is always compelling, especially with parents. Holding yourself accountable will help you hold your parent accountable.
- Acknowledge that you hear him. Making small changes can be a big task and what your loved one really needs is your support.
In addition to these great tips for how to have the conversation, I’ll add my tip to be prepared with specific and realistic changes your loved one can make for improved heart health. Remember these changes don’t happen overnight – small steps are needed to get to that end goal. Recommend small changes like cutting back on portion sizes, adding one more serving of vegetables to the lunch plate, and increasing fiber slowly throughout the day.
One easy way to reach the 25 to 30 grams of recommended fiber per day is with the help of products like Metamucil. Metamucil and Meta Health Bars both contain psyllium fiber, which can help lower cholesterol thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.† Get in the kitchen and show your loved one how easy it is to add Metamucil to quick recipes like my Mixed Berry Yogurt Smoothie or buy a box of Meta Health Bars they can always have on hand (you can get some Meta coupons here!)
Everyone needs a little encouragement once in a while, so why not be the one to help? If you’re ready to have a Heart 2 Heart conversation with someone you care about, share your experience with Meta by tweeting to them @MetaHealth or posting to their Facebook page. And don’t forget to use the hashtag #Heart2Heart!
Have you had a Heart 2 Heart with someone you love lately?
†Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 7 grams of soluble fiber per day from psyllium husk, as in Metamucil and Meta Health Bars, may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol. One adult serving of Metamucil Powder has 2.4 grams of this soluble fiber. One Meta Health Bar and one serving of Metamucil Fiber capsules have at least 1.8 grams of this soluble fiber.
Meta partnered with bloggers, such as me, to get the word out about its great product benefits. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Meta believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Meta’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.
Such an important topic! I think watching your tone and setting an example are both really important because it’s so easy to point out what others should be doing but not holding ourselves accountable to healthy habits at the same time (if that makes sense).
It makes complete sense and is 100% true. Much easier to tell people what to do than to do it ourselves. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts Melanie!
Love this Jessica. And I didn’t know that about MS- what a great guy! I just saw him on my sick obsession Lip Sync Battle and fall in <3 with every time! I think heart health is so important, I was just lecturing about this last night with my students. It's great to know about those Meta products, I'll have to check out those bars to recommend to my Grandparents. Great post girl.
Thanks Liz! Haha…he is quite the softy! The Meta bars are really great – and not just for your grandparents, lol! You should check them out yourself too – my hubby loves them 😉
Tricky stuff, Jessica, but you give some great tips here. These kinds of conversations can be so hard that we tend to avoid them, but done with love and tact, there can be a positive outcome.
Thanks Katie! You’re spot on – as hard as they are to have, the conversations can lead to good results if handled appropriately.
This is so important Jessica! I feel very comfortable having this conversation with my patients but when it comes to family, sometimes it can be challenging. Thanks for sharing these great tips!
Thanks for sharing your experience with this topic Sonali. It’s a challenge helping those closest to us sometimes.
That’s so true in so many ways.
Great tips here and something we all need to think abou!
Thanks Taylor. Hope it gets people thinking about this important topic.
I feel like heart 2 hearts are daily conversations in our household! My husband struggles with autoimmunity, so he’s always working on bettering his health and trying to “solve” things.
Alisa, kudos to your husband for making a daily effort to improve his health. It can’t be easy and it takes a lot of hard work. He’s lucky to have you by his side for support and for your great knowledge and ability to help him. Thanks for sharing your experience!
Heart health is so important in my world, problems run in my family. I’m always trying to get my family on the health train. Good tips!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the tips and I hope they help in your work to help your family. Go get ’em Julie!