Everyone should understand that the heart is an awesome and amazing organ. With an average heartbeat of 70 beat per minute the heart will beat about 100,000 times every day moving approximately 2,000 gallons of blood. This is all done by an organ that is about the size of your fist and weighs only 7 to 15 ounces. Even more astonishing is that each beat is controlled by electrical impulses that you have not conscious control. Can you imagine trying to consciously tell your heart to beat every single time?
So, what can you do to keep this remarkable piece of equipment working at the highest level? Three things: eat right, don’t smoke and be physically active. By doing these things you can greatly reduce your risk of having heart disease. Eating right means to get your fruits and vegetables (just like mom and dad told you) in your diet and consumer foods low in fat and cholesterol. Does thing mean you cannot have any foods that are unhealthy? No, not at all, just in moderation and in appropriate portion sizes. Being physically active entails getting at least 30 minutes a day in activity. Not exercise, just be active and move around. It does not have to be all at once, maybe just 3, 10 minute bouts of activity fits into your schedule better. Lastly, don’t smoke, if you do smoke – quit.
Other things that can assist with maintaining heart health. Monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels (especially if you have a family history) and manage your stress (learn how to “let go” of the things you cannot control). Finally, know your family history and talk with your doctor about any health concerns. The earlier you are aware or detect a problem the better chance you have at preventing a heart attack and sustaining your current quality of life.
Make the most of the day you are given.