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.
Over 2200 people die from heart attack or stroke every single day. That’s a lot of people!
That is almost as many people that died in the World Trade Center attack in NYC on September 11th 2001.
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. You can read more about that here, The Big FAT Cholesterol Myth.
No doubt, we need to make better food choices. Most Americans eat 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 with 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.
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.
Our society is set up so we don’t have to move at all if we didn’t want to.
For example, I could even go to any big airport and not have to walk to the departure gate. I would just step 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 sidewalk do the work for me, I lose the benefits that come with moving my body.
I would highly suggest we start using our 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.
There is no denying we need great quality food and daily exercise to support 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 saw 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 up 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.
This February for American Heart Month and Valentines Day, let’s go a little deeper and get the true motivator of our human spirit working properly at all levels: physical, emotional and spiritual.
Eat well, exercise, and forgive someone (including yourself), for any past hurt. Get down to the heart of the matter and see if there is something that could be holding your heart back from functioning at it’s best.
Have a heart, and free your heart, to experience your best life ever.
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. 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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