When I think of heart health, I think of love. Yes, the heart is a muscle that pumps blood through your system. It carries oxygen and nutrients to your cells, tissues, and organs. Also, your heart is a barometer that tells you if you’re in danger, safe, or content. I would say your heart rules your emotions; would you agree?
Can you feel the rhythm of your heart? How does it beat, forcefully or gently? Do you feel it at all? When you lay your hand on your heart, what happens? Do you feel joyful or tearful? Does any of this resonate with you? If so, you have a heart.
The HeartMath Institute is a nonprofit research center that scientifically documents and teaches people how to reduce and avoid stress, the silent killer, by connecting them to their hearts via intuition and awareness. Recent studies have uncovered that the heart has 40,000 neurons like those in your brain, meaning your heart is a second and separate system in your body. Scientific research has shown that connecting to your heart with daily activities designed to build mind-body awareness can substantially benefit you and your loved ones.
So, what is stress? When your glands release cortisol into your bloodstream, and your heart pumps it through your veins and arteries, there is also an increase in the release of sugars (glucose) throughout your body. The release of sugar is a quick fuel meant for intermittent release in short spurts when necessary. These hormonal and sugar rushes are nature’s way of helping you out of a life-or-death situation. While cortisol pumps through your circulatory system, your body flips a switch that limits other “nonessential” functions during a fight-or-flight scenario. The body does not consider those functions like the immune, digestive, reproductive, and growth systems as “essential” when in survival mode. Those are automatically shut down temporarily until the danger passes.
Unfortunately, today, we are in a chronic state of survival several times a day, every day. Even though we no longer have to fight the saber-toothed tiger, we face daily traffic jams in our cars, canceled flights with our planes, and negative accounts in our banks. Anxiety, depression, heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke are all connected to stress. In today’s crazy-making world, our body must always maintain a constant and chronic state of alertness to the dangers around us. Your heart, a vital organ with electrical circuitry that regulates the rhythm of its beat and delivery of blood and nutrients to your body, needs balance, nutritious foods, and rest for peace of mind, just like your brain.
We at Absolute Best teach people how to optimize their health, body, mind, and spirit together – all in one convenient location. Health is holistic. Without a healthy heart, your lifeblood and its beat cannot be regulated; without good eating habits and exercise, your weight goes out of control, and visceral fat smothers your vital organs. Health is not obtained by dealing with it one organ or system at a time; it happens when all cylinders are firing simultaneously.
Here are some tips on how to start your journey to wellness with a healthy heart:
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and less saturated fats.
- Watch your sodium levels and learn to read food labels on packaged foods.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise! You must stay active throughout the day, take daily walks, go to the gym, or do online video classes.
- Smoking causes cardiovascular disease. Eliminate it or at least start cutting back.
- Check your blood pressure regularly.
- Control your weight.
- Moderation in all things.
- Manage stress by relaxing your mind and body and connecting with your spirit. Take time off.
- Open your heart and love someone.
None of us are alone in this world; although sometimes we may feel lonely, people around us could use a kind word or gesture, extend yourself to them. Say hi as you pass them on the street, watch how that makes them smile. In turn, you’ll feel like smiling, a sense of belonging wells up inside, your heart will beat faster, and you’ll know you’re alive. Why don’t you extend a hand to someone and see what happens? Chances are you’ll make a friend.
We need each other for reference, love, protection, and survival. It’s essential to tune into your heart and its energy because it regulates your bodily functions and emotions. If you have a strong heart, you increase your chances of being in good health. If you are healthy, you can be at your best when entering relationships. Your friends, family, and colleagues count on you to be there for them, and you rely on them in return. So, break out of your shell, get your heart pumping good stuff through your system, and get around like-minded people. You are not alone, you are loved, and you are needed.
If you need help getting started with your health and fitness journey, we’re here to do that. Call us today, and we’ll set you up with a holistic health practitioner who can lead you through a program of wellness and fitness suited to you and your specific needs.
Happy February and Heart Health month.
Don’t forget that our Couples’ Massage Special is still available for the rest of this month.
Peace, Love, Namaste