The Beat of Our Life
By: Brianna R. Rippetoe
Bumbum. Bumbum. Bumbum. This rhythmic beat of our hearts pumping blood throughout our bodies serves as a beautiful reminder of the life we have to live. Our hearts beat melodiously, providing our bodies with oxygen and nutrients--in essence, life--so that we can move and flow through the cadences that play along our journeys. The length and magnitude of one’s adventure is directly correlated to the health, strength and well being of one’s body, mind and spirit. Simple lifestyle changes such as diet, supplements, and exercise promote a healthier heart, which will enable one to continue to beat with the ebb and flow of life.
Diet is an essential component of heart health. The Center for Disease Control states that every year Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Anyone, regardless of race or age, can be affected by this condition. This often dismissed truth makes it imperative for Americans of all ages to have a healthy diet. In a world where the fads of different “diets” change as often as fashion (Atkin’s, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Hollywood Diet, Slimfast, Apple Cider Vinegar and Taco Soup Diet...yes, these are real and have a devout if deceived following), the connotation of “diet” can be misleading. By the term “diet,” I simply mean an intake of foods that will provide your body with a balance of the proper nutrients that it needs to perform at its finest. It is vital to be conscious of one’s heart when selecting the foods to fuel one’s body. The Mayo Clinic recommends adding more fruits and vegetables, choosing whole grains, limiting unhealthy fats and cholesterol and reducing sodium when selecting foods (note that none of these suggestions involves rejecting an entire food group or gorging on any item, either). It is important to remember to occasionally treat yourself. As the Mayo Clinic states, “A candy bar or handful of potato chips won't derail your heart-healthy diet. But don't let it turn into an excuse for giving up on your healthy-eating plan.”
To further enhance one’s healthy diet, one may consider implementing supplements. It is crucial that we understand that everything we put into our bodies has a direct effect on how our bodies perform and how we feel; why not give the most important muscle in our bodies precisely what it needs? The Mayo Clinic states, “Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that are thought to reduce inflammation throughout the body, a contributing factor to coronary artery disease.” Omega 3 is a powerful tool in combating heart disease. In many instances, people do not incorporate enough of this oil into their diet, likely because they are unaware of its exceptional benefits. Supplements such as Krill Fish Oil can ensure that sufficient Omega 3 is consumed to protect one’s heart.
In addition to diet, exercise plays a major role in heart health. There are numerous benefits to exercising, including increased energy levels, increased endurance, lowered blood pressure, and reduced stress. Just like other muscles in our bodies, our heart needs to be strengthened! WebMD suggests, “In general, to achieve maximum benefits, you should gradually work up to an aerobic session of at least 20 to 30 minutes, at least three to four times a week. Exercising every other day will help you start a regular aerobic exercise schedule.” Some examples of cardiovascular exercise include walking, jogging, jumping rope, swimming and bicycling. It is best to find an area of exercise that you enjoy so that you continue in this new lifestyle. Consider asking a friend or family member to join in to make exercise more fun and to hold you accountable.
Overall changes made in diet, added supplements, and intentional exercise can make significant strides in strengthening one’s heart which leads to an overall holistic lifestyle that is able to withstand the many facets of life. Let your physically healthy heart transform your body, mind and spirit to live a life at its zenith. We only have one life to live and one heart to make the journey count. The beating within our chest seems all too similar to the tick tock of the clock, so let us make the most of every moment and take action to make our hearts strong.
Krill Oil. Viva Labs. Web. 27 Dec. 2012
“Heart Disease: Exercise for a Healthy Heart.” WebMD. Beckerman M.D., 21 Sept.
2012. Web. 27 Dec. 2012.
“Heart Disease Facts and Statistics.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention. n.p., 16
Oct. 2012. Web. 27 Dec. 2012.
“Heart Healthy Diet: 8 Steps to PreventHeart Disease.” Mayo Clinic. n.p., n.d. Web. 27