Getting and Keeping a Healthy Heart
February is Heart Health month. Once again we are reminded of the vital importance of a healthy heart. The heart is a miracle of engineering. Here are some interesting facts about our heart:
Your heart beats about 100,000 times in one day and about 35 million times in a year. During an average lifetime, the human heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times. The heart pumps blood through a system of arteries (large blood vessels), veins (smaller blood vessels) and capilaries (the smallest blood vessels). If you took all the blood vessels out of an average child and laid them out in one line, the line would stretch over 60,000 miles. An adult’s would be closer to 100,000 miles long.
For more interesting facts about the heart go to: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/heart/heartfacts.html
If we want to live a long and healthy life we need to take care of our heart. The keys to maintaining a healthy heart are: rest, exercise and diet.
Adequate rest is vital to our health. Rest allows our bodies to regenerate itself, detoxify and rebuild itself. However, the heart does not need to rest. We will see why in the next section. The important thing to remember is that our bodies need rest in order to function at an optimum level.
You’ve heard the saying, Use it or lose it. This is true of all our muscles, but especially the heart. Our heart loves to work. The more you give it to do (within reason) the better it likes it. That’s why we feel so good after a hard workout. As mentioned earlier, the heart does not need to rest. Why is this?
Don’t know why the text is shaded. I did copy and paste this from somewhere
The total volume of the heart . . . is [comprised of] between 30 and 35% mitochondria. These are the little engines in our cells that create energy. That massive amount of energy-generators means cardiac muscle, in a healthy state, need never rest: there is always some energy being transferred to the muscle at the same time that more energy is being derived from caloric intake.
A sensible exercise plan that takes us from a sedentary life-style to an active one is the key to longevity and health. I recently read a book about a native tribe in the mountains in Mexico called the Tarahumara. They are so fit that they hold an annual footrace that lasts for 48 hours. The winner of that race will have run close to 385 miles in that time! That is the equivalent of 10 marathons back to back to back! Our bodies were designed for this. However, due to our modern lifestyle we have lost the ability to operate at such a high level.
My point is this: get up off your backside and start moving, especially outdoors. Personally, I love running in the rain in toe shoes (also known as Vibrams, shorts and a teeshirt). The only thing limiting my running is my current level of fitness. I expect to be much more fit in 1 year, 2 years, 5 years 10 years than I am today. I’ll be 65 in May.
3. Diet, nutrition
The importance of proper diet cannot be overly stressed. The type of diet you choose depends on you. We can choose vegetarian, vegan, paleo etc. but make sure to avoid the following foods:
Fast food is no good. It contains just about everything that should be avoided from gluten to unhealthy fat to sugar and salt.
Avoid all processed foods. They have been altered and no longer are good for you. As Michael Pollan recommends, eat food that is still in its original packaging such as seeds (chia seeds are my favourite. The Tarahumara eat them and run like the wind), nuts (for healthy oils), fruit (in moderation), raw food and alkalizing food to name a few.
Avoid gluten from wheat, barley and rye. Dr Tom O’Bryan (look him up on YouTube) has found these three to be the bad guys that cause all kinds of gut problems.
Super foods and quality supplements offer an excellent source of nutrients. Here are my 10 personal favourites:
1. Chia seeds. Chia seeds are one of the best foods on the planet. The Tarahumara, an indigenous people of the Sierra Madres in Mexico who are famed for being able to run long distances have used this food for centuries. Chew them like gum, add them to your salads or put them in your smoothie or in a glass of water. They are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats and carbs.
2. Spirulina and chlorella. Spirulina and chlorella are mother nature’s multi-vitamin. Taken daily in an adequate dose will insure that you are replenishing your stores of amino acids, minerals, vitamins and enzymes,detoxing your body and taking in high quality nutrients.
3. Calcium & magnesium. The body uses calcium every time a muscle contracts It then needs magnesium so that the muscles can relax. This is especially true of the heart. Insufficient magnesium is a contributor to irregular heart beat. Here are my favourite magnesium and calcium products:
4. Cardioflex is another favourite supplement is a product called Cardioflex: Cardioflex is an excellent supplement for heart health. It contains 16 vital nutrients such as Co Q10, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, selenium, magnesium and bioflavanoids among others. It is great for pre and post workouts. Put it in your water and take it during heavy exercise to keep your energy levels up.
Alfalfa is a great source of minerals and chlorophyll but its greatest asset is its ability to assist in alkalizing our body. Exercise causes our body to become more acidic. An acidic body ph is a precursor to the deterioration of our health. Our body rigorously guards against acidity by taking calcium from our bones. In order to avoid this problem, drink plenty of alkaline water and take alfalfa.
Check out the specials page on our web site. They are on sale this month.
In conclusion, good health is no accident. It requires that we obey the laws of nature. There is no shortcut to getting and maintaining a healthy body but it is more than worth the effort. The rewards a healthy body offers far outweigh the investment in time and money to achieve this.
May the year 2016 be the year of the healthy heart and body for you!