Valentine's Day is traditionally all about hearts and flowers, roses and love, but this year we want to remind you to have compassion for your own heart ladies.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States. More women die each year of heart disease than all cancers combined. Yet, the most valuable thing we can take away from these facts is that we have some control, by way of making the right choices as we go about our daily lives. It is the day in, and day out of our diet and exercise habits, and maybe even our bad habits, that have the most affect on our hearts for both men and women.
The human heart, having an average heart rate, will beat well over two million times during a normal life span of around 65 years. Even more beats will amass as we pass the mid sixties mark, constantly keeping vital blood flowing to every area of the body. If steps aren't taken to protect the heart, there is certainly risk that this fist-size organ will fall victim to our lifestyle habits. Keeping the heart healthy is not that complicated. Although you may have a history of heart disease in your family, your choices can curb or deter your familial history and keep your loving heart pumping for many years to come.
Starting this Valentine's Day, a day surrounding love and the emotions of the heart, we want you to begin really loving your own heart.
- * Get your body in motion - Exercising at least 30 minutes on most days of each week not only helps to keep depression at bay, but helps keep your heart purring along like a well-oiled machine. Exercise is heart conditioning at its finest, helping to lower resting heart rates and strengthening the heart muscle. Exercising on a regular basis makes you appreciate the image in the mirror, and that alone is healthy for your heart. If your waistline won't get you to the gym, even if it's a home gym, let the love of your heart get you there….just get moving!
- * Put out that cigarette – If respiratory problems and lung cancer aren't enough to make you distinguish your cigarette, love your heart enough to put it out. Heart disease risk is greatly increased in relation to the amount of cigarettes consumed over a lifetime; add common birth control prescriptions, like the pill, and the risk climbs even higher. There's no reason to light up and if you can't seem to quit, get help, your heart will thank you.
- * Eat a heart healthy diet – Simply stated, fill your diet with tons of fruits and vegetables, plus heart healthy fats found in fish, flax and avocados. All of these foods are lovers of your heart. Think of the enemy of the heart as saturated fats and Trans fats; avoid them like a disease, because that's what they will give you if your diet is heavy in these unhealthy oils. We recommend the Mediterranean Diet, a diet plan that will keep you full of the vitamins, minerals and fats your heart needs to keep running at optimum levels.
- * Maintain a healthy weight – Likely a tip that you won't need to spend much time concentrating on if you follow the exercise and diet suggestions already mentioned, you're already most of the way there.
- * Visit your doctor and get regular screenings - It goes without saying that it is important to visit with your doctor and undergo any screenings that may detect issues or find early discovery of heart disease. Blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes screening will help you understand how well or not well your heart is performing, and consequently, how much work you need to invest in reversing any damage.
- * Get heart healthy emotionally – Who wouldn't be surprised to learn emotions of the mind affect the heart? We've all had some sort of heartache and felt emotional pain in our lives; it's part of the human experience. What is also important as human experience is that we don't allow any negative emotions to affect our heart any more than necessary. You may have a broken heart that will be with you for a time, but extended episodes of despair or depression, are straining on the heart. Surround yourself with people you love and whom love you back. Get help if you think you may be suffering from depression, untreated depression can have long-term effects on the health of your heart. It's normal to go through the ups and downs of life, but if you find you are down more than you are up, visit your doctor. It might just save your heart.
We want to wish you a very Happy Valentine's Day!
The heart has more meaning than you could ever imagine at keeping you healthy, and we want you proactively protecting yours. Love your heart this Valentine's Day; it's the only one you've got.
Discover a Stunning You®
Bonnie and Tanya