Written by Kolleen, Owner Core57 Downtown Alpharetta & Core57 Milton

We celebrate Valentine’s Day in February with hearts that symbolize love, but let’s also use this time of year as a reminder to pay more attention to our real hearts. So as we go into March, let’s check on our heart health.

When we stop and think about the purpose of our heart, we bring into focus the reason we need to pay attention to it. The heart is a pump, operating solely to move blood throughout your body. It’s an organ designed to contract and release, moving blood from chamber to chamber, keeping the pace of the flow throughout your body.

Heart diseases affect the ability for the heart to pump, either from the size of the organ or effort to keep the flow moving. Enlarged hearts, constricted blood flow, or rapid beating strains the organ, causing damage that can affect the ability for your body to receive oxygen and nutrients required to live.

Worse, the heart can suffer so much damage that it stops. If the blood flow gets completely clogged or the heart can’t contract, then the system shuts down.

However, you can protect your heart and avoid damage that causes heart disease.

  • The Foods You Eat. Watching calories is hard and losing weight can be a struggle, but overeating can damage your heart. When we are overweight, the heart struggles to pump blood through the whole system. Also, overeating increases the salt and fat intakes that affect the way the heart moves and the blood flows.

However, not all health foods are good for you, either. Food products advertised as low-fat sound great but check the sodium content. Many times, salt replaces the fat to improve flavor. Also, many convenient foods like frozen or shelf-stable items will have high amounts of salt. Read your labels carefully.

  • The Exercise You Perform. Diet alone won’t improve heart health. When you exercise and include movement in your life, then your system is more likely to avoid clogs that can occur from buildup in the arteries. Sedentary lifestyles increase the risk for blood clots. An increased heart rate during aerobic exercise keeps your heart tissues supple and strong. There is also more oxygen pumping through your body to boost its functions.
  • The Rest You Take. Stress is part of life, but most people have poor coping mechanisms to deal with stress. Some of the stress relief people choose can harm heart health. Overeating, drinking too much alcohol, or sitting too long watching television contribute to poor heart health. To manage stress, it’s important to get enough rest. The best form of rest is plenty of sleep, so adjust your routine to create a restful and restorative amount of sleep.

It’s so easy to lose sight of our vital organs that just do their thing, every second of every day. We don’t think about our breathing, pay attention to our pulse, or really consider the automatic functions of our body. They just happen, and we count on them.

So, focus on your heart this month and assess your heart health. Making even a small change can have a big impact on your heart.

Core57 can help your heart! We have a variety of classes &  membership options, nutrition help and we work with your existing injuries! Call today (or click here) to schedule your free full body assessment and let us start you on the road to a healthier heart! 470.268-4744