The most important heart of Valentine’s Day is in your chest

By Kay Wagner LMP, CPT | Feb 01, 2012

In the next minute, while you read this, your heart will pump four or five gallons of blood.  That’s all the blood you have in your body.  

Your heart will pull used blood in, pump it into the lungs where it picks up fresh supplies of oxygen and then pump it straight back into your heart.  Now your trusty pump sends this blood to your brain, toes, fingertips, and every cell in between.

How is your heart this Valentine’s Day?  To each of us that brings a different image.  For some it means ‘Is your blood pressure OK?’ or ‘Do you have any blockages?’  

For many it means ‘Are you loved and happy?’  Science is finding that your emotional state of feeling loved and connected will nourish the physical health of your heart.

The first time I saw Dr. Oz on Oprah was in 2005.  Dr. Mehmet Oz, the now famous heart surgeon, showed Oprah’s heart in 3D on the big screen.  Dr. Oz explained the healthy veins, arteries, muscle tone, and what this means.  

It means that Oprah has the heart of a 19-year-old.  A “very sexy” young heart, he and Oprah joked.

Seeing Dr. Oz and learning that heart-related disease will kill one out of two American women got my attention.  Way beyond breast cancer.  It made me wonder how healthy my heart really was.  And how to keep it healthy.

Dr. Oz’s first book, “Healing from the Heart,” chronicles his pioneering research in combining western medical treatment with ‘complimentary’ medicine like prayer, massage, yoga, meditation, acupuncture and diet.  

Patient after patient that had love and encouragement healed faster and with less medication than those lacking these nourishing connections. Those who felt very angry, lonely, stressed, or anxious had more complications.

Heart patients with companionship, laughter, pep talks, prayer and someone to hold their hand were far more likely to survive.  

For a healthy heart, make it a habit to express your love to those you care deeply for.  Focus on the love you feel for them and feel it expand in your heart.

If stress comes in, stand taller to give your heart extra oxygen and room to move.

Bring more joy into your day.  Enjoy more music, nature, loved ones, funny movies, prayer, family photos, laughter with friends.

Stop rushing.  Breathe more deeply.

Since our heart is a muscle, it makes sense to strengthen it.  Just as we would our biceps or abs.  Increase the physical activities that are most pleasurable for you.

Dr. Oz suggests we break a sweat at least 60 minutes a week, to rev the engine of your heart.  

Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water.     

Let the love you feel circulate freely in your veins.  Stressed?  Ask your heart for answers and listen quietly.  You will know your heart is speaking when you feel at peace with the answers.

 

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt,” Charles M. Schulz said.

This Valentine’s Day your heart will beat 150,000 times and pump more than 4,000 gallons of blood.  Acknowledge your heart for all it does for you.  Infuse your heart with love and let the chocolate and valentines flow.

Kay Wagner LMP & NASM Certified Personal Trainer, leads Seniors Strength Training, Yoga & Pilates at Rosehill CC.  Kay offers PERSONAL TRAINING & SPA FACIAL MASSAGE in her studio overlooking the mountains and water, at 828 2nd St. in Mukilteo. Call 425-353-4545.  “Like” her on Face book @ Kay Wagner Wellness. Visit kaywagnerwellness.com.




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