Will you be my Valentine? The 14th is right around the corner and it’s time to take care of the ones close to your heart. But is your heart healthy? February is American Heart Month and Foss Spine & Wellness is celebrating! It is a month to spread awareness, research, and attention to proper heart health. There are many things that you can do to help improve your overall heart health.
Regular exercise has been proven to improve heart health. By exercising and raising your heart rate, you are not only increasing the strength of your muscles, but also increasing the strength of your heart. When exercising, it is important to monitor our heart rate to be sure we are not over working this crucial organ. Prior to beginning exercise, you can check your resting heart rate by gently pressuring two fingers over one side of your neck and feeling your pulse. Once you can feel your pulse, count the number of beats you feel for 30 seconds. Then, to calculate your resting heart rate, take this number and multiply it by 2. A normal range for resting heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute for an adult.
Diet is also a crucial component of heart health. It is important to consume fats. Yes, I said fats; HEALTHY FATS! These healthy fats combat our bad cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats are known to lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol. These healthy fats are found in olive oil, almonds, and avocados. Eating these healthy fats, in moderation, helps decrease our risk of heart disease.
Another helpful tip to achieving a healthier heart and avoiding heart disease is regularly checking your blood pressure. Blood pressure is another characteristic which tells us how hard your heart is working. When our blood pressure exceeds certain limits, our heart cannot keep up with the necessary output, putting ourselves at high risk for heart failure. For a normal reading, your blood pressure needs to show a top number that's between 90 and 120, and a bottom number that's between 60 and 80. It has been shown in research studies that a chiropractic adjustment of the atlas, the top bone of your neck, helps reduce blood pressure.
As you know, our heart is an extremely important organ. What runs our heart? Our heart is run by impulses from our nervous system. Our nervous system is an operation stemming from our brain traveling through many nerves throughout our spine and body. By improving or maintaining proper spinal health through chiropractic care, we are able to improve our nervous system and its functions, thus improving the connection between our brain telling our heart to beat.
American heart month is only one month of the year, but it is important to take action and maintain these steps for a healthier heart all year long. Make these small and simple changes to our lifestyle to help decrease our chances for complications of heart disease in the future. So, in love letter fashion; whether you celebrate Hearts Day on February 14th or not, be sure to take care of your own heart… forever and always.