The heart is arguably one of the most important organs in our bodies. This dual-chambered pump located at the centre of our chest, provides the body with oxygen, blood and the nutrients it needs to survive. Although the heart is a physical organ, it is also the spiritual centre of your wellbeing. Here is a list of things you can do to take care of yourself and the people around you.
Give a Hug – Eights hugs a day keeps the doctor away. Health authorities commonly recommend drinking 8 glasses of water a day. But research shows, a 20 second hug reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Hugging releases tension and stress in our bodies that contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. For a healthy heart, activate the feel-good hormone oxytocin through an all-embracing hug with a loved one.
Have Hot Cocoa by the Fire – Cocoa is one of the most abundant sources of polyphenols, a natural antioxidant said to lower blood pressure, blood sugar levels and improve cholesterol. In addition to improving blood flow, consuming cocoa is said to have similar blood thinning effects as aspirin. Health officials recommend having 1-2 servings of cocoa a day to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. Why not enjoy the satisfying health benefits of cocoa with a cup by the fire.
Go on a Walk with Young Ones – Walking is the most underrated form of exercise. There is a tremendous amount of research that suggest walking can bolster fitness goals, decrease the risk of a stroke and heart disease, all while boosting our moods and increasing creativity. Don’t go alone! Get your little ones’ hearts pumping by making it fun for the whole family.
Go to the Gym – You knew it was coming! Boost your heart health by heading to the gym. Aerobic exercise, such as swimming, running or cycling are said to reduce the risk of heart failure. Cardio elevates your heart rate and allows for the heart to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Exercise can not only prevent heart disease but also, reverse its damaging effects.
Make Sleep a Priority – Sleep is an essential part of an overall healthy body but is critical for your heart as well. Adequate rest allows the body to repair itself and helps us function properly during the day. Overtime, poor sleep can lead to higher stress levels, high blood pressure, bad eating habits which all have adverse effects on the heart. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night.