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THE HEART OF THE MATTER

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

You want to keep that heart of yours in the strongest and best shape possible, just like you do the rest of your body.  We often think of our hearts as an organ but truth is, your heart does double-duty as a muscle, too.  Its job is to keep that oxygen-rich blood flowing to every part of your body.  I'm willing to bet that most people take their hearts for granted and don't spend a lot of time thinking about them.  But the more you know about your heart and the role your lifestyle has to play in keeping it strong and healthy, the better.  Today, I want to share with you some facts about your heart and how it works.

Regular exercise is very important to your having a healthy heart.
 
Of course, regular exercise is very important to your having a healthy heart.  Resistance training, one of the forms of exercise I talk about a lot, benefits your heart as much as cardiovascular/aerobic exercise.  It builds and maintains lean muscle mass, which helps you burn calories, lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.  Now let's talk about some of the serious medical problems an unhealthy heart can lead to.
 
Cardiac arrest, I know you've heard of that one and it's not the same as a heart attack.  But it can be caused by one.  Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart's electrical system malfunctions, causing it to unexpectedly stop beating.  A person in cardiac arrest will die unless they receive defibrillation, in which the heart is actually shocked back into beating.  Some shopping malls and other public places now keep defibrillation machines on hand to handle such heart emergencies.  Good idea!
 
Heart failure, which sounds every bit as scary as cardiac arrest, is actually a condition you can live with, as long as you're being treated.  The term simply means the heart is too weak to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs and requires help from medication, surgery or implantable devices like pacemakers or pumps.
 
Your ticker always needs a good-night's sleep.
 
 
I've also told you a lot about how important sleep is to your overall health and that includes your heart because your ticker needs a good-night's sleep.  Too little shut-eye can increase inflammation which can make plaque buildup worse in your heart.  
 
Let me end with a little soothing news about your heart.  Physical affection boosts your body's level of the hormone oxytocin, which may protect your heart by lowering your body's blood pressure and reducing inflammation.  The human heart has for centuries been used as a symbol for love, think Valentine's Day.  So show a little love, be generous with your hugs and kisses.  The sweet thing is your heart and you will be happier plus, with those hugs, you're sharing the love and the person you're hugging?  You're helping their hearts, too.  Now I really like the sound of that!
 
((((((I LOVE YOU!))))))