February is American Heart Month!
Which means it’s the month to focus not just on the love in our hearts, but also on the health of this vital organ that’s known as “the seat of our will, our feelings, and our emotions.” So, while visions of heart-shaped boxes of Godiva chocolates and robin blue boxes of sparkly baubles may be dancing in your head, it’s essential that you also focus some attention on valuable steps that you can take TODAY to keep you heart strong and healthy TOMORROW.
In the name of love (yes, we love you!), all this month we’re going to give you easy tips to de-stress your body and support your heart. Why? Well, not to scare you too much, but heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States, and a leading cause of disability among women.
Recent research has shown that as many as one in three baby boomers will develop heart problems or have a stroke in their lives. We DO NOT want to you to be part of that statistic! Chronic stress increases the risk of heart disease because it exposes your body to unhealthy, persistently elevated levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Studies also link stress to changes in the way blood clots, which increases the risk of heart attack, and to the increase of other risk factors, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and a lowered immune system. In other words, STRESS = SICK & TIRED
|Stress is a normal part of life, but there’s no reason why you should be in a habitual state of “flight or flight,” which is the norm for a lot of moms I know (including myself). You NEED to take a breather every so often throughout the day to release tension. Here are some simple yoga moves to relieve stress and literally open your heart. There are several versions, depending on your flexibility. Each one will stretch your chest and create an openness in front of your heart that feels OH SO GOOD.Try these anytime you feel an emotional trigger of stress come on, or whenever you want to quick pick-me-up. You’ll feel better and your heart will thank you!
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year! -Ralph Waldo Emerson