By Kathi Casey.
Today I’d like to talk about keeping our hearts healthy and vital for many years to come. Heart disease is the deadliest health issue for both women and men in the United States, yet it’s one of the most preventable diseases there is! That’s just crazy. So here are a couple of easy ways to keep your heart healthy…
First, don’t forget to laugh!
Laughter is the best medicine and as adults we simply don’t laugh enough. I read somewhere that children laugh about 70% of the time, and adults only 7%. Wow!
As a child, I remember laughing about everything from a snake sliding over my foot when I was barefoot in the grass, to one of my brothers’ “milk mustaches.” My new saying is “Life is a comedy” and I find that there is much to be joyful about as an adult.
Since I have been paying more attention to how often I laugh, I have found humor in many of my normal routines – even paying my bills! One company in particular must not edit the copy on their billing statements, so it’s become a fun game to see how many grammatical errors we can find in each month’s statement. I know that’s kind of goofy, but I write a lot, and we do lots of editing, so it turns into a kind of nerdy Comedy Central game!
We end up releasing a lot of endorphins with those big belly laughs, removing some of the extra stress hormones circulating through our bodies, which are great for our heart health, but more importantly laughter makes us feel good! The whole day is easier when we take time to laugh.
Second, “work it, baby, work it!”
That means moderate aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. The good news is that many experts, including the MAYO clinic, now agree that your 30 minutes does not need to be all at once. Ten minutes three times during the day is fabulous for your heart AND much easier for all of us multitaskers! Here are a few easy ways to “fit” those ten minutes in:
1. March in place while brushing your teeth in the morning – knees very high to get that heart pumping, then continue your routine with lunge walks through the house while you get your clothes together, make your travel cup of coffee, etc., until you’ve done ten minutes. Think of the Groucho Marx walk… It’ll probably make you laugh too, releasing even more endorphins!
2. At some point during the day, take a ten minute brisk walk around the block. This short aerobic break has proven to make people much more productive in the office than a ten minute coffee break in the lunchroom. Imagine if everyone picked up this healthy habit…
3. While watching TV, you can also fit in some marching in place, bringing those knees high, or a little Irish jig or whatever dance you like do with the Stars…
The important thing is to fit in ten minutes wherever you can to give your heart muscle the same attention that you give to your biceps and abs!
Best of Health,
If you would like support on your path toward better heart health, please check out my personalized coaching plans!