Heart Health

We are what we eat, thus what we put in our bodies inevitable become part of its structure, and like I said before structure determine function.

Did you know that fat is absorbed into the body differently than proteins and carbohydrates (CHO)? When CHO and proteins are broken down and absorbed in the small intestine they are carried through the heptatic circulatory system to the liver to filter out unnecessary by-products. Fat however due to its water phobic nature is absorbed into your lymphatic system (mirrors your circulatory system, used in immunity, lymph: the clear part of blood). The lymphatic system drains into the circulatory system at the superior vena cava. If you perused the anatomy of the heart you would know that the superior vena cava is where de-oxygenated blood from the upper body enters the heart to be pumped to the lungs. The implications of that are: THE FIRST PLACE FAT GOES IN THE BODY IS YOU HEART!!!!! And since our cells take what they need to repair, and build form circulating CHO, proteins, and fats, it means your heart is getting first pick of unhealthy fats. Terrifying.

It also explains why eating processed food, which are high in fat (the bad and terrible kind) impacts immunity. Your lymph is a drainage system for your  immune system and unwanted thing circulation in your blood. if it is saturated with fat, it increase the work of your lymph nodes, deceases their effectiveness at fighting off disease.

Next time you reach for that chip, chicken wing, or cookie… think about what it would look like in your heart… you may reconsider.

 

Emotions and a healthy heart

Following is an editorial on the effects of emotions, specifically negative ones, on heart health.

Many Emotions Can Damage the Heart

Most people know that anger is bad for your heart’s health, but loneliness and depression affect your heart, too.

Volatile emotions like anger and hostility are bad for heart health. But studies have shown that some of the quieter emotions can be just as toxic and damaging.

“Study after study has shown that people who feel lonely, depressed, and isolated are many times more likely to get sick and die prematurely – not only of heart disease but from virtually all causes – than those who have a sense of connection, love and community,”

Raising Awareness

Ornish, the founder, president, and director of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif., and the author of Love and Survival, points out that today many people don’t have an extended family they see regularly, or live in a neighborhood with two or three generations of neighbors. Many don’t have a job that promises stability or go to a house of worship every week. “These things affect our survival to a much larger degree than people had once thought,” he says.

 

Unfortunately, says Ornish, “many people think of these as things you do after you’ve done all the ‘important’ stuff,” such as diet and exercise. What winds up happening is people often regard spending time with family and friends as a luxury. “What these studies show us is that this is the important stuff,” Ornish says. “We are touchy, feely creatures, we’re creatures of community, and we ignore these things at our own peril.”

Raising awareness so that people who are lonely and depressed can face these problems is very important, says Ornish. “It’s very hard to get people even to take their medication, if you don’t address these issues. That’s where awareness is the first step in healing. If a physician can spend more time with their patients talking about these issues, these people can begin to make different choices in their lives.”

Depression and the Heart

“The general results of studies are that, for the most part, we believe depression is a risk factor for the development of heart disease,” says Matthew Burg, PhD, associate clinical professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and Columbia School of Medicine.

Burg points out that in people who have already suffered a heart attack that requires surgery to unclog blocked arteries, depression is also associated with poor outcomes, such as an earlier death or subsequent heart attack.

Social isolation and low levels of social support are similarly associated with increased risk for heart disease complications, he says.

Most cardiologists agree these results are important, says Burg. But while cardiologists know what to do about cholesterol and blood pressure, they often don’t know what to do about depression and stress or even how to get patients to reveal how they feel. “It’s not like going to a patient and saying, ‘You have high cholesterol, and here’s the pill,'” says Burg.

Talking About Your Emotions

Not surprisingly, people have an easier time discussing their blood sugar and cholesterol than speaking about their psychological state. “People don’t like being depressed but, in our society, there is a certain stigma about things like depression,” Burg says. “When patients are not as forthcoming about these issues, it makes it that much harder to identify and treat.”

“A person who has suffered a heart attack is likely to say things like, ‘Of course I’m depressed, I just had a heart attack,'” Burg says. “But very often, when we take a closer look, what we find is the symptoms of depression predate the heart attack.

“The depression after a heart attack, which we would call an adjustment problem or adjustment disorder, actually dissipates within a matter of weeks. If the symptoms persist, we’re really talking about a depression independent of the heart disease.” These emotions, when prolonged, “are worth paying attention to, because of the potential effect they’re having on the cardiovascular system.”

For source website click here.

 

Sometimes laughter is all you need….

WARNING: the following link is crass, but funny none the less. View at your own risk.

Awkward workouts

 

Cardiovascular disease & Risk Factors

Are you at risk for heart disease or stroke?

Preventative medicine is the key to a long and healthy life. Find out what your risk factors are to see what you can do today to stay healthy and active throughout your life.

Take the heart and stroke risk assessment quiz here.

A few general tips, what can you do to stay healthy?

  • Get your minimum physical activity requirements; 60 min of moderate exercise every day, or 10,000 steps.
  • Eat a diet low in saturated fat and sodium to maintain healthy blood vessels.
  • Get enough sleep; to regenerate your body.
  • Reduce your stress levels; increased cortisol levels as a harmful effect on your cardiovascular system.

 

Say hello to your heart.

Before we delve into specifics about heart health; physical, emotional, energetic, and so on; it is important to understand its structure. Structure defines function.

From an anatomical stand point the heart is comprise of muscle, about the size of your closed fist on the left hand side of your body. For a fantastic diagram of the heart, its chambers, arteries and veins click here.

From an emotional perspective the heart is the seat of emotion; it is where we feel our feelings. Click here for more information.

Energetically the heart chakra is the bridge between the lower physical chakras and the higher spiritual ones. For more information click here.

We will look at all of these and more in greater detail the days to come.

Happy healthy heart!

 

February is heart month!

Many causes have designated months to raise awareness about their plights. For example February is black history month, as well as heart month (as per the heart and stroke foundation). This is the one with more relevance to our purposes and a cause close to my heart since heart disease is prevalent in my family.

Check out the Heart and Strokes website, be ready for lots of fun and interesting heart facts this month.

Happy heart month!

 

Heart Quiz

I took this heart quiz here are my results:

 

Will beat 108,056 times, pump 1,585 gallons of blood, and push that blood nearly 8,178 miles throughout my body!

Created by MyFitnessPal.com

 

Stairway to health

The stairway to health is a program designed by the Canadian public health agency to provide support and resources to encourage Canadians to get active and increase their daily physical activity. Something as simple as taking the stairs throughout your workday can do a lot in helping you reach minimum physical activity requirements (30-60 min a day, everyday). Here is on of the “stairway to health” fact sheets:

There are a variety of benefits to programs that encourage the use of stairways, as part of physical activity in workplaces, or other settings. These benefits may include improved morale, a sense of well-being, higher energy levels and improved team building. Below are the measurable benefits that are indicated in research on stair use.

  • Canada’s Physical Activity Guide recommends that Canadians accumulate 30-60 minutes of moderate physical activity each day.
  • Stair climbing is possible in many workplaces and requires no special equipment in order to participate.
  • There is evidence to suggest that moderate intensity lifestyle activities like taking the stairs may be more successfully promoted than structured vigorous intensity exercise programs (Kerr, 2001).
  • Stair climbing can be accumulated across the course of the day, making a significant contribution to 30 minutes of daily physical activity (Kerr, 2001).
  • Stair climbing interventions typically result in a 6-15% increase in use of stairs.
  • A significantly lower risk of mortality is indicated in studies where participants climbed more than 55 flights per week. (Paffenbarger et al. 1993).
  • Stair climbing requires about 8-11kcal of energy per minute, which is high compared to other physical activities (Edwards, 1983).
  • Active Stair climbers are more fit and have a higher aerobic capacity (Ilmarinen et al, 1978).
  • Even two flights of stairs climbed per day can lead to 2.7 kg weight loss over one year (Brownell, Stunkard, and ALbaum, 1980).
  • There is a strong association between stair climbing and bone density, in post-menopausal women (Coupland et al. 1999).
  • Stair climbing programs can improve the amount of ‘good cholesterol’ in the blood – HDL concentrations (Wallace and Neill, 2000).
  • Stair climbing increases leg power and may be an important priority in reducing the risk of injury from falls in the elderly (Allied Dunbar Survey, 1992).
  • Because stair climbing rates are currently very low, increasing population levels of stair climbing could lead to substantial public health dividends (Kerr, 2001
  • Because stair climbing is an activity with which we are all familiar, participants have a high level of confidence in their ability to participate in the activity (Kerr, 2001).
For more information and resources click here.

 

This gives me hope for the future… just amazing

I was in the grocery store yesterday and I picked up a copy of the new National Geographic because the feature interested me. The article looks at bionics; have a look yourself, truly amazing. Some people really are changing the world.

National geographic: Bionics

Do not forget to post a comment, and send me your testimonials. 🙂

 

Welcome to my new blog!

Hello and welcome. I am stating this blog to share my thoughts, experience and expertise on health and wellness. Check in weekly for updates. If you have specific topics you would like me to cover feel free to e-mail me questions and comments.

There is 30 day exercises challenge starting April 1st. It is organized by reach physio. I will leading a chat room discussion Tuesday nights for those taking part. To sign up go here.

Enjoy the sunshine.