Article in brief: the author shares with us healthy living tips for a healthy heart.
According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death, and the major cause of disability and burden. Heart problems arise from different factors and ageing is one of the factors that increases the risk of developing heart conditions. However, like many things in life we have changeable and unchangeable risk factors.
Factors we cannot change include age, gender and our genetic predisposition of the disease. But there are many other factors that have been associated with heart conditions that can easily be changed on an individual level.
The latest medical guidelines have found that the type of food you eat affects the health of your heart function and circulation; fatty foods not only increase your cholesterol levels but also have an adverse effect on your stamina and blood circulation. Maintaining a healthy diet by increasing the green leafy vegetables and fruits (in moderation) has a positive effect on the heart’s functions. Certain supplements such as Omegas and COQ10 have been seen to have good added value to reducing risk factors too.
Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight significantly reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol levels and heart conditions. Keeping an eye on your caloric intake and making sure you work out or even walk for 30 minutes regularly can do wonders to your body.
The National Institute of Health associates smoking (and this includes passive smoking) directly with heart disease. Not only does it affect the lungs but it also affects the blood circulation and reduces ones vitality per cigarette.
Stress has been linked to many medical conditions, but people who are constantly focused on work or fail to release work related stress have a tendency to develop heart conditions. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance increases levels of balance within the body and reduces stress levels significantly.
This means that taking time off work and incorporating fun, family and friends into one’s schedule has a positive effect on the wellbeing of the heart.
Your heart is your emotional center. Through it you connect to yourself, the Divine, your family and friends, and your environment. Ensuring that you are truly connected to who you are, and are able to understand your feelings is the first step to maintain a healthy connection to everyone else.
Connecting to the Divine through prayers or meditations also keeps your heart awakened.
Also, being surrounded by loving and nurturing relationships where your needs and the other’s needs are understood and expressed healthily ensures a healthy expression of emotions and enables you to give and receive love with ease.
Your environment plays a big role in the health of your heart. This includes people you surround yourself with, and places you spend time in. Make sure your home feels cozy and clean, make sure your friends are loving and understanding, and make sure that you de-clutter your home and life every once in a while. Connecting to nature is one of the fastest ways to open your heart and feel the beauty and nurture of the universe.
Lastly, make sure you admire and acknowledge the good things in your life – having gratitude shifts your energy instantly into one of joy and love.
Mariam looks at health from a holistic perspective and believes that our bodies respond to our thought patterns and emotional behaviors. She also believes that health is attainable and that a happy life is a healthy one. Mariam created the concept of "ebb and flow" to reflect how we can deal with the various tides of life by flowing in harmony with our inner wellbeing to achieve health. The column will cover common health topics with an approach to conditions in a mind body spirit framework.