A recipe for a healthy heart begins with the pump!
A recipe for a healthy heart
Pump it - increase heart rate.
Move it - increase demand for body nutrients.
Rest it - maintain calm emotions.
Repeat - every few hours.
No, we are not creating a new dance move. Try some holistic health therapy for your heart. Can you feel the beat? Thump-pump, thump-pump, thump-pump. The heart is a muscle that needs to work harder often to keep working well. Chronic diseases and aging work against heart health by hardening walls and slowing down function. As you slow down and sit down, the heart muscle hardens and becomes weaker. However, the heart can work to its fullest potential if you keep up with maintenance. To raise the heart’s potential, you need to increase the workload on the muscle. On the other hand, if you are a little late to the boogie-woogie, you can still improve your outcome. The best way to a healthier heart is to pump it, move it, easy does it, repeat.
PUMP IT, PUMP IT!!
To exercise the heart is to increase the function. In medical terms, you need to improve the stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped by each pump) AND the heart rate (the number of pumps per minute). A healthy resting heart pumps about 5 liters per minute and pumps 20-25 liters during exercise. A healthy resting heart beats between 60 and 80 beats per minute and increases to the mid 100’s during exercise. All sorts of changes have to occur for your heart to meet the higher demand. These changes protect the heart against aging.
Age causes the heart muscle to harden and the walls to thicken. Think of the skin of an apple compared to the skin of a pumpkin. Have you ever tried to peel a pumpkin? It is a lot harder than an apple. The mechanisms that work the heart harder directly combat heart disease and are proactive against aging. So, an apple a day may keep the doctor away, but a healthy heart needs to keep pumpin’ pumpkin!
MOVE IT, MOVE IT…
Cardiovascular exercise is all about movement. Walking or running, kicking and punching, arms swinging, or even flapping like a bird are great cardiovascular exercises. Begin moving within a comfort zone that feels good to you. Breathing, heart rate, joints, and muscles can better repeat a function if you work within the ‘safe zone’.
After checking with your physician, suggested safe zones are as follows:
Breath Be able to hold a conversation during exercise.
Heart rate Exercise at 65%-85% of age-related target heart rate
(220-age=(ar), (ar)x.065=THR or (ar)x.085=THR).
Joints Comfort range of motion at all times.
Muscles Warm up slowly and hold loosely.
There are many age-related and chronic diseases that challenge movement and heart function. Be creative with movements you CAN do. If walking eludes you today, move your feet in your seat. If kicking or punching makes your joints quiver, do a little movement like a shimmy or a shiver. Start small in the amount of time spent moving and the range of motion. Expand as you feel your body allows. Two minutes of movement ten times a day adds up to a healthier heart no matter the health level or disease challenge.
Easy does it,
Regular meditation practice will improve heart health. A visit to the doctor begins with checking your vital signs in blood pressure, heart rate, breath rate. A meditation visit ends with healthy heart signs in lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, softer breath. One study put a monk who meditated regularly into a brain fMRI and monitored his vital signs. After a while, the investigators set off the sound of an explosion in the room. The monk showed NO PHYSICAL REACTION. The monitors recorded no change to his brain scan or his vital signs. Talk about keeping your cool!
Regular meditation trains the heart to rest despite stressors. Try to practice throughout the week, day, or even by the hour. Please check out the Hopeful Healing Health Therapy Facebook page to try some of our guided meditations to get you started.
A healthy heart happens with the right recipe. One minor movement leads to another, and another, and another. Next thing you know, you are dancing to a new beat- the beat of a healthier heart. Thump-pump, thump-pump, thump-pump - come on, let us get our healthy heart groove on!
REACH for HEALTH!