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February is American Heart Month

Posted on February 17, 2012
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Fun at Heart

For a strong, healthy heart, you don't have to suffer or deprive yourself. In fact, many heart-smart habits can be greatly enjoyable.

  • Stay in touch. Adults with a strong social network are more likely to have a healthy heart, research shows.
  • Have a furry friend. Quality time with pets has been shown to lower stress hormones and blood pressure.
  • Don't be a wallflower. Dancing, like any regular aerobic activity, lowers your blood pressure and reduces your risk of heart disease.
  • Dip in. Swimming is another aerobic exercise that, when done regularly, strengthens the heart, builds lean muscle, and gives you a leg up when playing Marco Polo.
  • Play!  To stay young at heart, act like a kid again. Many of your favorite childhood activities - jumping rope, biking, playing ball - still offer terrific cardio workouts.

I Heart Saving

When money's tight, you sort what you need from what you merely want. A healthy heart gets filed in the 'need' category. Fortunately, penny-wise can also be heart-smart.

Try these easy-on-the-wallet steps toward a stronger heart:
 

  • Drink Tea. Favor the heart-healthy varieties: green tea or caffeine-free hibiscus, which is common in herbal blends.
  • Breathe deeply. It's free, and it can soothe a stressed-out heart.
  • Have a little red wine. To help your heart, have just 1 (for women) or 2 (for men) glasses. You save by corking the rest for another day.
  • Go veggie. Beans and soy products are high-fiber, low-fat protein sources that are cheaper than meat.
  • Get moving. Walking is free. And to step it up, a gym membership may be more affordable than you think!

Learn more about union member discounts on health club memberships and healthy living programs like smoking cessation, weight loss and nutrition coaching.
 

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Help if you don’t know your union

Your union membership dictates which Union Plus benefits you are eligible to use.

  1. What your national union’s name (not just your local number)? Scroll through the list we have to see if you recognize your union.
  2. What type of work do you do (select your occupation)?
  3. Do you have a union member card or union publication/letter that shows the name of your union? Find something with the name of your union, not just a local number.
  4. Is there a shop steward or work colleague you can ask what the name of your union is? You can even ask your human resources department to tell you the full name of your union?
  5. Do you have a Union Plus Credit Card? If so, the name and logo for your international union should appear on the front of the card.

Union Plus Credit Card

Union members are automatically eligible for their union's Union Plus benefits and you do not need to be a Union Plus Credit Cardholder in order to access your union's Union Plus benefits.

But - if you are a Union Plus Credit Cardholder, you could be eligible for additional discounts.