Our heart is amazing. It is one of our most important and strongest muscles that has the responsibility of pumping blood throughout our body. it is amazing to think that a healthy heart is no bigger than the size of our fist when it is clenched and usually weighs no more than 12 ounces. Our heart has two sides and 4 chambers. The right side of our heart pumps blood to our lungs where it picks up oxygen. The left side of our heart takes the oxygen it receives and transports it through our arteries (away) to the rest of our body. The two top chambers of our heart are known as the atrium and the bottom 2 chambers are known as the ventricles.
Our heart also has an electrical system which regulates how it contracts as well as an individuals heartbeat or pulse. Our bodies hold approximately 1.2 to 1.5 gallons or 8 pints of blood. Each chamber of our heart holds approximately 2.5 ounces of blood. The average heart beats 70 times per minute and each time the heart beats it pushes blood out of the heart. This continual beating of the heart moves approximately 2,000 gallons of blood per day throughout our bodies. You can imagine why it is so important.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. According to the CDC in the U.S. 610,000 deaths per year (1 in 4) are caused by heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the most common cause and cause 370,000 deaths per year. Each year 735,000 people have a heart attack. First time heart attacks make up 525,000 of those 735,000, the rest make up at least a 2nd time heart attack. Heart disease is more than just heart attacks and strokes It also refers to conditions that affect the heart’s muscles, valves, or rhythm. An example is hardening of the arteries.
The major warning signs of a heart attack include chest pain or discomfort (my mom said it felt like an elephant was sitting on her chest), shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, cold sweats, or pain throughout the upper body including the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach. Those of you already dealing with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, or who smoke are at a higher risk for having a heart attach or stroke or developing heart disease. Even if you are free of the high risk factors, the normal aging process can also increases your risk for developing heart disease.
Heart Health – Prevention
The above statistics are pretty scary, especially with the half a million people per year having their first heart attack. Don’t panic, start developing healthier lifestyle habits today to lessen your risk. The following are a list of changes you can make, many of which are outlined in our Online Programs to help you develop these habits as well as our Lifestyle Guide.
- If you smoke – QUIT! Single most important thing you can do for your heart as well as your lungs.
- Start eating the Mediterranean Diet Way. Not only will you improve your eating habits and be following a heart healthy diet, this diet has been proven to be effective at fighting heart disease.
- Drink Water and Ditch the Sodas (yes – even diet) and Sugary drinks.
- Exercise – You don’t have to run a a marathon, just start walking! If you live where you can’t walk outside try Walk at Home with Leslie Sansone, I do it EVERY day!
- If you do have diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol make sure to keep them under control. Having uncontrolled high blood pressure can be dangerous for your heart as well as your kidneys.
- Stress – We all have it and we all need to learn how to manage it. Yoga, meditation, deep breathing (my favorite) or if you have to scream into a pillow and let it go, are all things that can help you with stress.
Heart disease can be scary, however, you can develop healthier lifestyle habits and lessen you risk even if are currently dealing with conditions that increase its risk. It amazes me when I work with an individual how difficult it is for them to change before they have their first heart attack and how easy it is to instill the above healthy lifestyle habits after their first attack. Please don’t be one of them.
Favorite Heart Healthy Products
Some of my Favorite Heart Healthy Products
The Sun Ancon Chi Machine is a wonderful product that promotes movement throughout the body promoting healthy circulation and
lymphatic movement. It also relaxes the body promoting deep breathing and more oxygenation. I use it every day and I never
leave home with out it.
Essential Oil Blend Refuge for Relaxation is wonderful for helping you relax taking away the day’s anxiety. Use it in a roll on or diffuser! You can also try Lavender, Rose and/or Sweet Orange essential oils.
Healthy Habits Lifestyle Guide – helping you to develop 8 essential habits over the course of 8 months to
create a healthier you! You can purchase the guide, download the guide, or join of our online healthy habits program.
Heart Health and Aging | accessed 02/18/19 | https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/heart-health-and-aging
The Physics Fact Book | accessed 02/18/19 | https://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/VitaliyShchupak.shtml
Heat Disease in the United States | accessed 02/18/19 | https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm