According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
The good news is heart disease is preventable.
The bad news… statistically, we are not doing well.
I’m grateful that many government organizations and doctors-in-the-know, are no longer pointing the finger at saturated fat as the cause of heart disease.
That erroneous thinking is so 1970’s.
Read more about that here, The Big FAT Cholesterol Myth.
No doubt, we need to make better food choices. Most Americans (and now the world) are eating total crap; fast food, junk food, and hydrogenated fats. Plus soda, high fructose corn syrup, and sugar, sugar, sugar in everything we eat – it’s ridiculous!
We even put sugar (dextrose) into our salt. High sugar consumption is directly linked to inflammation and heart disease.
We can’t solely point the finger at our diet though – our lifestyle is pretty darn crappy, as well. We are sedentary more often than not, especially with all of the lockdowns.
Many of us start our day moving as little as possible.
We get up every morning, slide into the car or hop onto the subway to get to work. We stand idle letting the escalator and elevator carry us up to the office, and then sit in front of a computer for the majority of the day.
There is barely have any movement at all… except to lift a cup of coffee to our lips to get our daily buzz on. And, now with the lockdowns in place, more and more people aren’t moving their bodies at all.
Even before the lockdowns, our society was set up so we would do less and less physical movement.
For example, I could go to any big airport and not have to walk to the departure gate. I would simply step my lazy butt onto one of those moving sidewalks and let the machine do the walking for me.
But, who does that benefit? Certainly not me and my heart.
The heart needs daily physical exercise. If I let the magical moving sidewalk do the work for me, I lose the benefits that come with exercising my body.
I would highly suggest you start using your legs as often as possible.
As a matter of fact, re-train yourself. Whenever you see a set of stairs (they are usually conveniently located directly beside the escalator), use them.
And, if you’re feeling inspired, go out and do some intentional cardiovascular exercises as well. That includes running, walking at a brisk pace (one of my faves), jumping jacks, biking, swimming, cross-country skiing, treadmill, rowing machine… you pick it.
You can also simply start the day with some Morning Stretches. That’s a great way to get your body moving.
There are many different exercises to choose from. All you gotta do… is choose to do them.
There is no denying we need great quality food and daily exercise to support the health of our heart.
But, there’s something else.
Something so important and yet, it is rarely addressed. By far, this “something” is one of the biggest contributors to heart disease known to mankind.
We’ve all heard the story of Joe so-and-so who was super healthy and ate all the right foods, plus he ran four times per week, and didn’t smoke or drink in excess, and then… BOOM! He drops dead of a heart attack at forty-seven years old!
We scratch our heads and say, “What the heck happened?”
Maybe Joe’s heart disease was much deeper than what we can see on the surface.
The heart is the motivator of the human spirit and it is the emotional center of our human body. When our body, spirit, and emotions are functioning optimally there is a great sense of joy, love, compassion, and inner peace.
It’s possible that Joe so-and-so could have been holding onto anger at his ex-wife who left him for his best friend, or was resentful for being overlooked for the pay raise he expected, or was unable to forgive his alcoholic father for childhood neglect and abuse, or maybe he was simply afraid to open his heart and love someone for fear of being hurt.
There are many emotional scenarios that could literally seize the heart and stop it from functioning.
Sometimes we need to go a little deeper to get the true motivator of our human spirit working properly at all levels: physical, emotional, and spiritual.
It’s imperative to exercise our heart on many levels.
That means… eat well, do some daily physical exercise, and forgive someone (including yourself), for any past hurts.
Get down to the heart of the matter and see if there is something that could be holding your heart back from functioning at its best, and always remember to exercise your big beautiful heart.
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker, Herbalist and best-selling author. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.
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