Physical and Emotional Heart Health

Physical and Emotional Heart Health
February is Heart Health month so it is a great time to think about how you are taking care of your heart.

This is the month to be sure to check in with yourself and see if you're doing the right things to nurture your heart’s health. The first thing you may think of is the physical health of your heart. Of course this is extremely important and there are many small changes you can make to improve your heart's physical health. However, we don't want to forget the emotional health of the heart either, especially since February is also the month of love!

Below are suggestions on improving these two aspects of heart health. Incorporating at least one idea from each section is a surefire way to ensuring your heart is vibrant and healthy.

Physical Heart Health
1. Regular, everyday exercise is the number one way to care for your heart. Simple things like taking the stairs, parking at the end of a parking lot, and taking a daily walk are easy ways to start working in exercise. It may be hard to believe, but these simple steps (pun intended) will make a big difference in your overall health and how well your heart functions. Once these become easier, you’ll be even more ready to start working in a 3 day a week workout routine, which is all you really need to maintain a happy heart.

2. Limiting red meats, eating lean cuts of meat, and reducing the amount of fat and grease your food is cooked in is paramount. Fatty cuts of meat contribute to the clogging of arteries which restricts the flow of blood through your entire body. This restriction eventually can lead to heart attacks and heart disease.

3. Do you like walnuts? Eating 5 or 6 of these before lunch and dinner according to Michael Roizen, MD, the chief wellness officer for Cleveland Clinic and chairman of the clinic's Wellness Institute (care of, will do your heart well. Walnuts are high in omega 3 fatty acids. These acids help reduce inflammation within the arteries around the heart, which help your heart function better.

Emotional Heart Health
The association between a positive emotional state and a healthy heart has been well established by the medical community. A Type A personality person, for example, is someone prone to anger, anxiety, and insecurity. This person is usually also at high risk for heart disease and heart attack because of their negative perspective on so many things.

Depression is also associated with high risks of heart disease and heart attack. Women are often most susceptible to this risk factor, though it effects both men and women the same. Depression robs someone’s ability to think in a healthy manner.

In both depression and an overly driven disposition, the heart is stressed sometimes to it's max because there is no time to recoup and revive. This is a key component of tending to your emotional health. Some ways to do this are below.

1. Making time for exercise definitely effects your emotional heart health for the better. Your body not only feels good but you will inevitable feel good as well. Knowing that you've made a goal and are sticking to it does wonders for the ego.

2. Committing to a yoga practice is a great way to intertwine physical and emotional health. Yoga move you through a flow of poses while still allowing you the quiet space within which to dream and meditate. It's been shown as well to be an important piece to integrative care programs that dramatically reduce patient risks of recurring heart disease.

3. Slowing down and enjoying personal time is something we all know is important. Research constantly shows that for heart health though, it is extremely important. Anxiety is an example of the kind of stress that comes about when we don't get enough personal and it is incidentally one of the major risk factors for heart attacks and diseases.

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This content was written by Leah R. Patterson. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Leah R. Patterson for details.