Thursday, February 14, 2008

Let's Have a Heart to Heart

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! WebMd actually created a special “love section” on their site just for this momentous occasion.

Any big plans? Considering I don’t have a boyfriend or someone special (wah-wah), I’ll be spending my night with my best girl friends, going to dinner and to see the new cheesy romantic comedy, “Definitely, Maybe.” In all actuality, there’s nothing I would rather do than spend a night with my best friends. I don’t really buy into this Hallmark holiday but it’s always fun to celebrate loving people and being loved. If you’re in a great relationship – congrats and recognize how lucky you are. If you’re single like me – enjoy it and relish in the ability to be selfish during this time…not too selfish of course. And remember, today is a great day to start living a heart healthy lifestyle!

Below are excerpts from a WebMD article that features, Mimi Guarneri, MD, who authored the book, “The Heart Speaks: A Cardiologist Reveals the Secret Language of Healing.” I pulled my favorite Q&A’s but if you’d like to access the whole article, its available here

What aspects of modern life are bad for our hearts?

Everything. The new definition of normal is going to work every day in a car that is not paid for so you can pay for the house that you never get to use because you are always at work. We are stressed out to say the least. Not to be doom and gloom, but this so-called modern life is not conducive to health. Today, people are so focused on mergers and acquisitions and the accumulation of things that the question becomes when is enough, enough. Sometimes our body has to put the brakes on for us with a big heart attack.

How is having a BlackBerry bad for the heart?
Today there is constant bombardment with emails, faxes, and BlackBerries. It's nonstop. We are forced to make split-second decisions because we don't have time to think. It's extremely stressful and as a result, we are flooded with stress hormones. The release of stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol can increase the risk of having a heart attack.

That's scary. What can we do to prevent this from happening?
Start by thinking about the heart physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Physical care involves choosing the right foods and exercising. That's the easy part. The emotional aspect involves asking yourself if you are stressed, depressed, anxious, or angry. And the deeper, spiritual issue is asking yourself 'who am I [and] what is my purpose?'

If eating right and exercising is the easy part, why don't people do it?
People know how to eat and they know they need to exercise, but they are making poor choices mostly driven by stress and depression. They think: 'I am depressed, so why exercise?' Or: 'I am stressed, so I will have four martinis.'

Any Valentine's Day prescription to help combat the effects of modern life on our hearts?
Wake up and say, 'I will take responsibility for my health and well-being and ask myself the deeper questions.' There is nothing more important than health and family, and we take that for granted until we don't have them anymore. We need to get people back on track.

Anything else?
Turn off your BlackBerry and go for a walk.

How can a person be love?
Instead of looking to give love, just be love: Do something good for someone. The feeling you get when you see their face light up brings joy to your heart. Be grateful for your life and have gratitude for the gifts you have been given

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