The Healthy Heart
By: Esteban Joe Flores
The human heart’s importance has been recognized for thousands of years. It has represented emotional strength and health, giving hope to underdogs around the world. With the emotional significance of the heart so highly regarded in American culture, It is unfortunate that It’s physical significance has taken a back seat to greasy fast food and high stress work environments. According to The American Heart Association 33% of US adults age 20 and up have hypertension. Among hypertensive adults approximately 82% are aware of their condition and 75% are using antihypertensive medication, but only 53% of those with documented hypertension have their condition controlled to target levels. These alarming statistics show just how bad our country is at promoting habits that lead to good heart health.
I personally have not done enough to ensure that I have the healthiest habits I can. Being in college it is much easier to grab fast food and lay around than it is to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regime. This laziness unfortunately will directly affect my heart health if I do not take precautionary steps now that in my young age. These precautionary steps may include eating less fast foods, running more during my free time and taking trusted dietary supplements like Krill Oil.
While researching this topic I learned how mood can affect personal health. This can be both negative and positive. Based on an article found on website AlterNet , a Michigan study found that Women who suppressed their anger in confrontations had twice the risk of dying from conditions such as heart attack, stroke or cancer. Venting ones irritation for the sake of heart health can be seen as a cross gender truth. Dr. Jane Flemming, a London-based GP states that, “Someone in the grip of jealousy will suffer raised blood pressure, heart-rate and adrenalin levels, weakened immunity, anxiety and probably insomnia." On the positive spectrum Dr. Rollin McCraty, of the Institute of HeartMath in the U.S. found that gratitude also associated more harmonious electric activity around the heart and brain, states in which these organs can operate more effectively. Lastly Cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center found laughing can actually reduce the risk of heart attack by curbing unwanted stress, which can destroy the protective lining of blood vessels. A good giggle also burns calories since it's possible to move 400 muscles of the body when laughing. Some researchers estimate that laughing 100 times offers an aerobic workout equivalent to 10 minutes on a rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike. These findings prove that pursuing Heart health will inheritability bring a holistic wellbeing.
In conclusion taking intentional steps toward heart health will not only make my body healthy it will also improve my emotional health. These steps are increasingly more important as I grow older and now would be the best time to create habits that increase my life span and the quality of my life.
Stephens, Anistasia . "How Your Mood Affects Your Health." http://www.alternet.org. Independent UK, 14 2007. Web. 30 Dec 2012. <http://www.alternet.org/story/70342/how_your_mood_affects_your_health>.