Many of us ‘do our best’ when it comes to good health, but sometimes this isn’t quite enough to protect your heart from long-term effects. Regular check-ups with your doctor, plus a good diet and a little exercise can go a long way to protecting your pumper. Here are a few more tips on making it last that much longer:
1. Where There’s Smoke… There’s heart disease. So quit smoking if you haven’t already, and also avoid others who haven’t noticed it just isn’t ‘cool’ anymore. Plus, give your heart a break by cutting out other tobacco products like chewing tobacco and nicotine gum (which is intended for short-term use only but some keep on chewing it), as these products can raise your blood pressure. Try acupuncture to help you quit.
2. Stress The De-Stress. Heart disease isn’t the number one killer, it’s stress – it’s just harder to measure. But you do know when you’re stressed, and so start finding more ways to keep those stress levels down. One good way? Connect more with your loved ones! Human contact (either physical or emotional) is a great way to lower stress and thus help prevent heart disease. And if you already do that, then talk to a psychotherapist – they have methods of helping you handle stress that can work very effectively in your daily life.
3. Drop That Spare. Excess weight is obviously hard on your heart, but carrying it around your mid-section is even more dangerous. So if you’re prone to carry a spare-tire, you’ve got work to do – men if your waist is more than 40 inches, and women if yours is more than 35 inches in diameter. Meet with a holistic nutritionist to find ways to easily cut calories.
4. Don’t Swallow That Pill. Aside from potential risks to a variety of areas of your health including even your eyesight (check out the article in The New York Times, November 21st, 2013), the birth control pill can adversely affect the health of your heart by raising your blood pressure. An alternative to oral contraceptives? The IUD is a safe, easy, and effective method of birth control that carries with it very little potential for complications.
5. Sleep Easy. Getting enough sleep on a regular basis can be a chore for someone leading a busy lifestyle. If that’s you, then consider cutting back on that lifestyle somewhat and opting for sleep instead – at least 6 but preferably closer to 8 hours. Also, try going to sleep at the same time every night and waking up at the same time each morning – this helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle, which has an impact on cortisol levels that may affect heart health. If you’re having trouble sleeping, see a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, as Chinese herbs can help tremendously.
By Richard Lobbenberg, BSc BHSc DAc