Your Cart

No items in your cart

I Heart My Heart!

If you live to 95 and your heart rate beats on average 75 times a minute for each of those 95 years, that’s, on average 3,744,900,000 beats. Is your mind blown by that math yet?

3,744,900,000 beats is A LOT!

Unlike other body organs which get to slow down or even turn off overnight while you sleep – your heart beats on, and on, and on. We all know what happens when it doesn’t… The heart is an amazing organ and muscle, and we need it to keep on pumping - and doing it well!

Good Stress = Happy Heart

When stressed (in a good way) through exercise, the heart grows stronger and larger. If not stressed through exercise, the heart will get smaller and smaller, just like any other muscle. A strong heart has the ability to circulate blood throughout the entire body with ease. The stronger the pumping capacity, the greater the flow of blood throughout all the organs, limbs, brain, and extremities such as fingers and toes. With proper exercise the heart becomes bigger, powerful, and more efficient. Every muscle in the body also helps to pump blood, and muscles pump blood back to the heart.

How A Heart Beats

When the heart relaxes, the chambers of the heart fill with blood, then, when the heart muscles contract it pumps hard to force the blood out into all the arteries and capillaries. As it does, it takes oxygen and nutrients to supply billions of cells. When the heart relaxes, the returning blood is empty of oxygen, but it picks up toxins and toxicants and dumps them in the liver and kidneys for cleaning on its way back to the heart. This miracle happens about 108,000 times in 24 hours.

I Heart… Exercise!

When we exercise – we build muscle, and this muscle contributes to the power available to pump oxygen around. When we lose muscle, or worse, gain fat, we are losing the capacity to pump oxygen around to the cells. A sedentary lifestyle means that blood vessels start to close up, shrink and maybe disappear.

The goal for a healthy heart is a low resting heart rate. The lower the heart rate, the lower the risk of coronary heart disease. A resting heart rate will be about 15 to 20 beats per minute lower than when walking around. When we stand up after a period of rest, adrenaline is released which creates an electrical charge to the heart muscle – like the ignition on a car. The electrical charge will increase heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure. It is essential that the heart is regularly sparked into working hard so that it stays strong and capable of beating.

Big Bad Breast Cancer? More like Heart Disease!

Here is a tough statistic – more women die of heart disease each year than from all of the cancers combined. Yes, breast cancer gets a LOT of headlines, but heart disease is the Number One Killer of women. A sedentary lifestyle will increase the rate of death through heart disease by a whopping 5 times. Although we hear about heart failure as a cause of death, it is not actually the heart that fails to work, it is the arteries inside the heart that stop working. When those arteries can no longer feed oxygen to the heart muscles – the heart muscles stop. Eeeek!

How Does A Heart Break?

(Not just by watching the Notebook). Our bodies do an awesome job of cleaning up – both the circulatory system and the immune system are a big part of that. We know that blood carries the toxicants and toxins it finds as it works its way around the body. White blood cells circulate through all arteries all the time – on guard to absorb cholesterol and clean up the bloodstream. When someone eats food that is consistently high in cholesterol, only so much of that cholesterol can be cleaned up each day. That leaves leftover cholesterol which builds up as thin layers on the walls of the arteries. Just imagine someone only vacuuming the middle of the carpet - there is a bunch of dirt accumulating around the baseboards.

The coronary (heart) arteries are the mechanism for feeding blood to the heart muscle itself – the muscles that will drive the pump action of all four chambers of the heart. A buildup of plaque causes the coronary arteries to gradually harden. As the arteries harden, small cracks can appear. Even a tiny crack in the artery wall signals the immune system to “mend the wall”. The immune system makes a clot around the tiny crack and, if that crack is big enough, it will block the artery. A blocked artery means no blood flow and no blood flow stops the heart. When the heart stops – it's a heart attack.

If the cracks are small, the repair clots are small enough to allow blood to flow through the artery, however, over time, repeated cracks and clots will gradually narrow the artery and make it harder and harder to keep blood circulating.

Top Tips on Reducing Cholesterol

  • Eat cruciferous vegetables
  • Eat healthy fats (avocado, nuts)
  • Eat more cold water fish
  • Reduce red meat intake
  • Reduce saturated fats
  • Reduce carbohydrate intake – especially sugars and starch
  • Take exercise that builds your stamina
  • Drink water to flush toxins out.

What About Hormones & the Heart?

As part of ensuring arteries stay smooth, healthy, and less likely to develop cracks, some people also consider utilizing hormones. Bioidentical progesterone has been shown to have a protective effect on coronary arteries in women. Low amounts of estrogen can also promote healthy blood vessels and may help delay the formation of plaque.

If you heart your heart, take care of it!

(P.S. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our cardiovascular Series!)