Your Heart Wants You to Know These 10 Things
Yes, the heart has opinions. We’re just not used to listening. Those flutters we shrug off and the slightly elevated BP numbers we allow are just two ways the heart is communicating.
Here is a list of 10 things your heart would like you to consider making a part of your lifestyle habits.
The cool thing about doing healthy things for your heart is that they benefit all of you.
We all know we should get our blood pressure under control and eat plenty of fruits and veggies. This list includes the most important of the old stand-bys and some rebelliously delicious additions.
No matter how you approach caring for your heart, there are two things on this list that I’d say are non-negotiable. You’ll find them at spots one and two.
#10 Make Yours Dark
It might be old news that this stress-busting sweet is rich with antioxidants and that it’s a sweet science can get behind but that doesn’t make it any less amazing. The flavonoids in cocoa beans have antioxidant effects that reduce the cell damage implicated in heart disease. Flavanols also help lower blood pressure and improve vascular function. You’ll be happy and healthy.
#9 Have a Drink
Research shows that one drink a day may help protect your heart and vascular system. Moderate amounts of alcohol raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Don’t forget the relaxation factor, which can only help your blood pressure.
#8 Brush, floss and take care of your gums.
The bacteria in gum disease can spark inflammation that damages the blood vessels. People with gum disease can have up to 25% greater risk of heart disease than people with good dental health.
#7 When it’s time to go, go!
I’m not referring to pooping.
People in unsupportive and damaging relationships are at greater risk for developing heart problems and depression — which further adds to the potential for heart problems. The breakup may lead to heartbreak, which docs now consider a true malady, but the long term stress of an unloving or even punishing relationship will take a toll you can’t reverse. Broken hearts do heal.
#6 Don’t request Z-packs aka Zithromax or azithromycin when you need an antibiotic.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found an increase in cardiovascular deaths among people treated with these antibiotics compared to those given amoxicillin or ciprofloxacin. Those most at risk include; “Elderly people and those with irregular heart rates, arrhythmias, and low blood levels of potassium or magnesium are at a particularly high risk for the deadly heart condition” according to the FDA.
#5 Don’t Sleep on Your Left Side
According to Heart Health, a newsletter from Harvard University, sleeping on your right side gives the heart more room to expand freely and pump with little effort. On your left, the heart gets compressed.
#4 Nap Like A Pro
According to Rodale Press, napping not only leads to better cognitive function, but a study in Greece of middle-aged people found that just (3) 30-minute naps per week cut their risk of a fatal heart attack by 37%, largely by reducing their stress.
#3 Laugh, Cry, Punch a Bag
Stuffing our emotions — Energy in motion — will lead to reduced flow of healing energy. It can also lead to literal stuffed arteries. The stress of holding on to negative feelings literally scars the heart — and scar tissue is not flexible, so makes it harder for the heart to pump oxygen-rich blood.
#2 Move Your Butt
Despite the eye-rolling going on about this one, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include it.
You have to move — and move enough to get your heart rate up until you are breathing hard 30 minutes a day. You can do it all at once or 5 or 10 minutes intervals throughout the day. Just get up to 30.
During the day get up for 5-minute breaks from sitting too. Humans were born to move, and the heart relies on you to exercise it. Modern life no longer does the work that chasing down dinner and walking miles to find the best cave did for our cave-dwelling ancestors. Not convinced sitting is a threat to your health? Read this.
#1 Kick Butt
Not much to say here, but if you still smoke — even only a few a day (you know who you are) — it’s time to stop. Smoking causes strokes and cardiovascular disease, period. It damages blood vessels, they get narrower and thicker, blood pressure goes up, blood clots can more easily get stuck. And contributes to more wrinkles.
Here are a couple of questions to help you make good choices for your heart’s health; no tips needed.
- If your heart could choose, what would your next meal look like?
- If your heart had a voice, who would she ask you to spend more or less time with?
- If your heart was in charge, what time would you power down your electronics and head to bed?
You are infused with inner wisdom and when you don’t feel so smart, get your heart to help you remember that you are. She’ll never let you down and if you listen, she’ll let you know when something has to change.