Summary

As with so many aspects of our health, the approach to both prevention and management of cardiovascular disease is committing to appropriate exercise, mind-body balance, and a nutritious diet. As we’ll discuss, sometimes what's good for the mind also tends to be good for the heart. There are many lifestyle changes we can make throughout the day that can positively impact cardiovascular health.

Exercise for Your Heart

Regular cardio workouts strengthen the function of the heart and help burn through excess sugar in the bloodstream. This keeps your heart healthy, blood pressure steady, and cholesterol levels in range. Start by adding in some strength training exercises such as squats and push ups, or even dusting off those dumbbells for lunges, a few times a week. This will help improve your body’s resting metabolism to burn more and improve processing sugar and cholesterol throughout the day. Just by adding in 15 minutes of body-weight exercises to raise your heart rate and strength training to build lean muscle are actually very beneficial to not only your heart but also mind. If you’re a little rusty, you may need to start a routine slowly and build up gradually.

Stand Up for Your Health

Just as muscles atrophy if they aren’t being used, arterial function is no different. Increased blood flow promotes a healthy endothelium, the interior surface of blood vessels; without the constant tugging flow from each heartbeat exertion, you risk arterial dysfunction disease. What if you have no choice but to sit all day? Sedentary workplaces are becoming more common and sitting might well be part of your job. Preliminary evidence from observational as well as experimental studies point to taking breaks from sitting as being beneficial for heart health. Breaks can be as short as one minute and need not necessarily entail strenuous exercise — just taking a quick walk or taking a few steps up and down the stairs may be enough.

Resting is important for your heart health as sleeping not only repairs the body itself but also helps us function throughout the day. While sleeping your blood pressure goes down, although having sleep problems like insomnia or sleep apnea contribute to your blood pressure staying higher for a longer period of time. People who sleep less than 7 hours each night have been linked to having health problems including heart attacks and depression, as opposed to those who are well rested and have gotten more sleep. Your body deserves time to recover after a long days work and you deserve the resilience to start the next day well rested.

Mind-Body Balance

Your heart isn’t just a blood-pumping, oxygen-infusing machine, it’s also responsive to our stress levels. When we are stressed we feel a sudden jolt as our heart rate increases and blood pressure goes up. If the stressful event is short lived, body functions will soon return to normal. However, if there is an inability to fully recover from the stressful situation, the presence of high levels of stress hormones can increase blood pressure therefore increasing the risk of heart disease.

Meditation, breathing exercises and physical activities with a mind-body component like yoga and tai chi have been shown to reduce heart-damaging stress and promote good health and high tolerance for stress or resilience. Taking moments to disconnect and walk in nature is ideal, as it lifts the spirit while fulfilling your exercise needs. Dancing is as great for your heart as it is fun - any kind of movement, especially the kinds that you enjoy, are good for you.

Have More Fun

Within the philosophy of Chinese Medicine, most heart attacks are due to the failure of the Heart Protector, which recharges with fun and loving connections with others. To put it plainly — the heart needs joy. If we don’t currently have enough, it’s time to find more. Research has shown that laughter increases the blood supply to the heart. Spend more time doing things that you find fun! Whether that’s reading a book, talking to friends, watching a movie, riding a bike, or going on a hike, find something that fills your heart with joy.

Build connections with people. Loneliness is bad for us generally as human beings are innately social creatures. Particularly bad for our hearts, loneliness has been linked to both a 30 percent increase in heart disease like coronary heart disease or stroke, as well as an increased risk of high blood pressure. So what can we do about it? Know that if you find yourself isolated, you are not alone. Our connections with others allow us to grow and thrive. Reach out to friends and loved ones and stay engaged in your community - you may find strength and companionship by taking part of an activity or cause outside of yourself.

Your heart is a wonderful and complex organ that is crucial to your health and well-being. Remember that while taking these steps towards a healthier lifestyle, give yourself moments to pause, breathe, and show your body compassion as you transition to any new lifestyle change. Use your imagination and your creativity, and be kind to yourself and your heart while you try new things.

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We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Jan 30, 2021
 in 
Lifestyle
 category.
Summary

As with so many aspects of our health, the approach to both prevention and management of cardiovascular disease is committing to appropriate exercise, mind-body balance, and a nutritious diet. As we’ll discuss, sometimes what's good for the mind also tends to be good for the heart. There are many lifestyle changes we can make throughout the day that can positively impact cardiovascular health.

Exercise for Your Heart

Regular cardio workouts strengthen the function of the heart and help burn through excess sugar in the bloodstream. This keeps your heart healthy, blood pressure steady, and cholesterol levels in range. Start by adding in some strength training exercises such as squats and push ups, or even dusting off those dumbbells for lunges, a few times a week. This will help improve your body’s resting metabolism to burn more and improve processing sugar and cholesterol throughout the day. Just by adding in 15 minutes of body-weight exercises to raise your heart rate and strength training to build lean muscle are actually very beneficial to not only your heart but also mind. If you’re a little rusty, you may need to start a routine slowly and build up gradually.

Stand Up for Your Health

Just as muscles atrophy if they aren’t being used, arterial function is no different. Increased blood flow promotes a healthy endothelium, the interior surface of blood vessels; without the constant tugging flow from each heartbeat exertion, you risk arterial dysfunction disease. What if you have no choice but to sit all day? Sedentary workplaces are becoming more common and sitting might well be part of your job. Preliminary evidence from observational as well as experimental studies point to taking breaks from sitting as being beneficial for heart health. Breaks can be as short as one minute and need not necessarily entail strenuous exercise — just taking a quick walk or taking a few steps up and down the stairs may be enough.

Resting is important for your heart health as sleeping not only repairs the body itself but also helps us function throughout the day. While sleeping your blood pressure goes down, although having sleep problems like insomnia or sleep apnea contribute to your blood pressure staying higher for a longer period of time. People who sleep less than 7 hours each night have been linked to having health problems including heart attacks and depression, as opposed to those who are well rested and have gotten more sleep. Your body deserves time to recover after a long days work and you deserve the resilience to start the next day well rested.

Mind-Body Balance

Your heart isn’t just a blood-pumping, oxygen-infusing machine, it’s also responsive to our stress levels. When we are stressed we feel a sudden jolt as our heart rate increases and blood pressure goes up. If the stressful event is short lived, body functions will soon return to normal. However, if there is an inability to fully recover from the stressful situation, the presence of high levels of stress hormones can increase blood pressure therefore increasing the risk of heart disease.

Meditation, breathing exercises and physical activities with a mind-body component like yoga and tai chi have been shown to reduce heart-damaging stress and promote good health and high tolerance for stress or resilience. Taking moments to disconnect and walk in nature is ideal, as it lifts the spirit while fulfilling your exercise needs. Dancing is as great for your heart as it is fun - any kind of movement, especially the kinds that you enjoy, are good for you.

Have More Fun

Within the philosophy of Chinese Medicine, most heart attacks are due to the failure of the Heart Protector, which recharges with fun and loving connections with others. To put it plainly — the heart needs joy. If we don’t currently have enough, it’s time to find more. Research has shown that laughter increases the blood supply to the heart. Spend more time doing things that you find fun! Whether that’s reading a book, talking to friends, watching a movie, riding a bike, or going on a hike, find something that fills your heart with joy.

Build connections with people. Loneliness is bad for us generally as human beings are innately social creatures. Particularly bad for our hearts, loneliness has been linked to both a 30 percent increase in heart disease like coronary heart disease or stroke, as well as an increased risk of high blood pressure. So what can we do about it? Know that if you find yourself isolated, you are not alone. Our connections with others allow us to grow and thrive. Reach out to friends and loved ones and stay engaged in your community - you may find strength and companionship by taking part of an activity or cause outside of yourself.

Your heart is a wonderful and complex organ that is crucial to your health and well-being. Remember that while taking these steps towards a healthier lifestyle, give yourself moments to pause, breathe, and show your body compassion as you transition to any new lifestyle change. Use your imagination and your creativity, and be kind to yourself and your heart while you try new things.

Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Jan 30, 2021
 in 
Lifestyle
 category.