February has been dedicated as heart month since 1958 and coincides with Valentine’s day. This organ is essential to our life and has also been tied to love and emotions since the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians.
A fascinating and powerful machine!
The human heart has been a subject of fascination from the beginning of time. Literally a kind of pumping machine, the heart provides the power needed for life.
Did you know?
- In an average lifetime (75 years), the heart beats more than two and a half billion times, without pausing to rest.
- Every day, your heart beats about 100,000 times, sending 7,600 litres of blood through your body.
- Although no bigger than your fist, your heart keeps that blood flowing through the 96,500 km of blood vessels that feed your organs and tissues with fresh oxygen and nutrients and taking away waste.
Our hearts “in love”
Studies show that our hearts are affected by our emotions. Being in love keeps you young and the effects of falling in love send a barrage of feel-good chemicals to your brain.
What to feed the physical heart?
Each of us needs to engage in 150 minutes per week of both moderate and vigorous cardio exercise. This could include walking, running, climbing, playing a sport, swimming, dancing, even cleaning the house!
There are foods that help keep our hearts healthy.
Heart friendly foods include:
- Oatmeal (to lower cholesterol), spinach (with antioxidantes), flaxseed (with alpha-linolenic acid)
- Salmon and olive oil (both lower cholesterol)
- Walnuts and soy (with omega-3 fatty acids)
- Berries, like blueberries, raspberries, straw-berries; which are full of anti-inflammatory properties, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.
How to treat the loving heart?
Whether love goes well for you, or you need to recover from lost love, take time to care for your “loving” heart.
- Keep good friends. Everyone needs friends to lean on.
- Let go of past experiences with love that didn’t work out. Moving forward is important to you and your new love.
- Keep some “me” time regardless of how deeply in love you are. Take time away to do what you want to do, take care of yourself, be alone with your thoughts and follow your passions.
- Trust your instincts. If you are uneasy about aspects of a relationship, get to the bottom of it or get out.
- Above all, love and respect yourself.