Who wants a happy, healthy heart? Yes please.
Oh for the love of our hearts! Who wants a happy, healthy heart? Yes indeed.
Here in New York City this time of year can be tough for the seasonally sensitive. And to top it off there was good old Valentine’s Day for the emotionally sensitive. Certainly in my mind that immediately conjures up a big heart visual. While some folks eagerly anticipate and love the thought of this “hallmark” holiday, for others it evokes sheer dread. For myself – I’m all in for any celebration of our precious hearts! And of course some romance sprinkled in is always a bonus for making a happy, healthy heart. I suppose it’s all about the context of your view.
In all seriousness, whether someone else is loving you up or not – it’s your responsibility to love up your own self & heart!
And the beat goes on…. approx. 100,000 times a day. That is what a healthy heart is busy doing in 24 hours!
Seriously? Can I get a big WOW?! As some of you may just be coming off of a Valentine “high” or low but let’s take the romantic emphasis and fluff out and really reflect on your heart. Your heart – it’s the muscular organ responsible for pumping blood throughout your entire body! It’s nothing short of mind boggling how our hearts just keep serving us beat after beat after beat. Therefore wouldn’t you agree that our hearts deserve the uitimate in tender loving care? I don’t know if there is much that should take precedence over this. A happy, healthy heart is a strong heart.
There are many ways we can be proactive in keeping our heart healthy and in turn ourselves thriving! Firstly, I recommend getting well educated on how to best maintain a healthy heart and make it a lifetime commitment to do so! Let’s face it, when your heart is done working, so are you.
An unhealthy heart wreaks tremendous havoc on many other key parts of your body as it feeds your vascular system.
With cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of death in the United States, it’s important to know what you need to do to prevent heart disease for yourself and your family. The heart health topic is broad and vast. My intention here is to leave you with some basic tips to hopefully get you thinking and motivated about your own heart health.
1) Get out and move your body. “Stop dragging your heart around”! Is this you? Are you making sure you are actively moving your body or just going thru the minimal day to day motions to “get around” with everything feeling like an effort? Physical exercise is crucial for a healthy heart. Our heart is a muscle and it needs to be strong to keep us going. Regular cardio exercise is essential. There are so many ways to get a cardio workout. Choose something you enjoy doing or try something new. From running to a brisk walk and everything in-between the key is to move your body and get that heart rate up. Once you incorporate this into your lifestyle and routine not only will your heart be stronger but your energy levels start to soar as a result.
2) Love people up! We all need to surround ourselves with others that take good care of our hearts and we should reciprocate. When we are upset and unhappy we are in a state of stress and stress can make for a “heavy heart. It’s important to examine if the people in our lives bring us happiness. By the same token we need to be mindful of what we are “putting out there” towards others whether it be with a loved one or simply an interaction with a store clerk. Kindness is key. When we feel loved we feel happy and at peace. Our stress levels peace out as well!
3) Eat your way to a healthy heart! Inflammation is at the core of most disease and heart disease is by far no exception. What you put in your body is a game changer. Here are some nutritious healthy heart food to keep in mind:
Vegetables and Fruits. Build more fiber into your diet with fruits and vegetables to lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar. Each day try to eat colorful fruits and vegetables, including dark leafy greens.
Healthy fats. Incorporate enough healthy fats in your diet. Good fats come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. Avocado, olive oil and salmon are great choices.
Seaweeds. Seaweeds have been shown to stabilize blood pressure, restore cardiac efficiency, prolong the life of the heart muscle, and encourage a steady heart beat.
Garlic. Garlic has amazing benefits such as abilities to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and stabilize blood sugar levels. Eat garlic raw or lightly cooked. (You can eat parsley or parsley supplement after to help curtail odor.)
Foods rich in beta-carotenes. These are shown to greatly reduce your risk of a stroke. Foods rich in beta-carotenes include carrots, cabbage, winter squash, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, apricots, and seaweed.
Also important to note:
Avoid restrictive and radical diets. In talking about heart health food it’s extremely important to not only make good heart healthy choices, but also be mindful of unhealthy habits which are far to common these days. Avoid frequent dieting, fasting, binging and purging. These cause imbalance to your electrolyte levels, causing weakening of the heart muscle and damage to the heart. Unfortunately there are far too many people abusing their bodies this way often for the sake of vanity. There are many helpful resources to get support. Please contact me for a list.
4.) Cherish your breath! – Be good to your lungs! Most unfortunately, I did not always follow this protocol at times in years gone by. One of my few true regrets but thankfully that is way in the past. These days I “calm down” and relax with routine meditation and breathing exercises. Another incredible way to relieve stress and get centered. One of my favorite, simple breathing exercise is Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8. I’ve been teaching this to my clients for years and have seen magical transformations!
5) Intuition. Intuition is greatly heart centered so that is another important gift that your heart provides for you. Learn to listen to what it has to tell you and let it guide you in the direction of what feels good and makes you happy!
6) Touch and be touched. People who are touched lovingly every day have been said to have fewer heart problems. Basic warm touch calms cardio vascular stress and the nervous system. Touch helps bond people together and evokes feeling of happiness and compassion. You can always find someone who needs a hug. Time to hug it out friends!
7) Give it a rest. Get your heart healthy sleep on people! Our heart works hard for us all day and rest is important for our heart health as well as our mental health! Cardio and good nutrition during the day will help set you up for a good night sleep.
8) KEEP IT OPEN! 🙂
The medicinal effects of heart healthy foods, and lifestyle on our hearts is extremely powerful and much in our own control. Let’s get heart healthy mindful so that our hearts will continue the beautiful beat that keeps us thriving on this life’s journey!