Sleep, Supplements, Stress, & Sex:
4 Ways to Improve Heart Health
February is American Heart Month, focusing on prevention of heart related illnesses like heart attack and stroke, hypertension, and diabetes. Here are a 4 easy ways to start improving your heart health today!
Sleep is important in maintaining a normal circadian rhythm which helps keep your hormones balanced. Sleep is when the body undergoes cellular repair from the day’s activities. In Chinese Medicine sleep is supposed to be deep, without dreams (a sign of a calm and rested spirit), without tossing and turning and feel rested upon waking with enough energy to get through your day without an afternoon slump or nap. How does your sleep compare?
There is a ton of material out there about what constitutes a good heart supplement. Before you buy anything, I do recommend having your blood tested to see exactly what supplements would best serve your needs. That being said, here are my favorites:
1. Fish Oil – is my #1 favorite supplement. Period. It supplies healthy Omega 3 fats which help combat inflammation. Systemic inflammation in the body leads to what is called “Metabolic Syndrome” and includes heart disease, high blood pressure, carrying additional weight around the waist, and diabetes.
2. CoQ12 -is found in every cell and helps with energy production, cellular growth and maintenance. It’s a powerful antioxidant and aids in protection of heart and skeletal muscles.
3. Magnesium – an ongoing supply of magnesium is required for normal muscle function (especially of the heart). Many things deplete the magnesium in our bodies like stress and drugs. It’s also hard to get enough Mg from our diet because the soil is depleted where most of our food is grown. Read more HERE
4. Cinnamon is often used in Western Medicine because it lowers blood sugar – which is great for diabetics. In Eastern Medicine cinnamon, or gui zhi, strengthens the energy of the heart and assists with circulation – which is beneficial for the brain.
Stress a nasty bugger. It causes headache, stomach pain, panic attack, high blood pressure, the list goes on. When we endure ongoing stress our body operates in “fight or flight” mode. This can zap our energy, make us irritable and we can form bad habits to “deal with it”. Overtime, the combination of stress and these bad habits wreak havoc on our hormones, heart, and kidneys. What are healthy ways you can manage your stress?
A romp between the sheets has so many health benefits (that is, as long as you’re practicing safe sex and your heart is healthy enough to engage in sexual activity). Sex counts as exercise, it balances testosterone and estrogen which is important for heart health, sex decreases stress and can lower systolic blood pressure. Whohoo!
AH-MAZING HEART FACTS
- Every day your heart beats about 10,000 times
- Your heart pumps blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels that serve your muscles, tissues and organs
- Heart disease is THE biggest killer of men and women
- Hallmark heart attack signs for men: chest pain
- Hallmark heart attack signs for women: indigestion, nausea, shoulder pain
- The stress hormone cortisol peaks early in the day
- Your left lung is smaller than your right lung to make room for the heart
- The “thump-thump” of a heartbeat is the sound made by the 4 valves of the heart closing
- Research found owning a cat can help decrease the chances of heart attack and stroke by more than a third (Ha! I don’t think this applies to my cat)