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Listening to our hearts

Listen to your heart and it will tell you what it wants in matters of love, family and profession.  Listen closer and you’ll learn that it needs exercise, healthy foods, and stress control to thrive. Nurture your heart and it will power your body for years.  Renew your Heart Health awareness. Create a heart healthy plan.  Care for the needs of your heart— our life giving and most important muscle.

heart beatSupport your heart with exercise.  Running or playing sports are natural supports for the heart but walking, gardening, and dancing also provide great exercises. Stretch out with Yoga, Pilates, or Enhance Fitness programs and give the heart muscle a well rounded workout. Need some company to get started? Seattle Parks and Recreation sponsors walking programs throughout the city and lots of fun fitness oriented classes for all ages scheduled throughout the day. Short on time? build an exercise program at work or home. Take the stairs, carry your own grocery bags, park a block away from your destination but whatever you decide to do get intentional about exercising.

fruitFeed your heart’s desire. Give it fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.  Heart healthy foods are satisfying and they nourish a steady beat.  Add red wine and a desert dark chocolate? Yes! Toss out the fast food and bring on the tossed salads and home cooking. Need some guidance? Stop into Heart Healthy Cooking African American style, or Healthy Latino Recipies or check out the American Heart Association’s Fabulous Series on Heart Healthy foods. Need some help? With A Little Help caregivers shop, cook, support exercising, provide transportation, and offer companionship that reduces stress. Explore our licensed home care services.

5NumbersInfographicWondering how healthy your heart is right now? Visit the Mayo Clinic’s heart disease risk calculator. Check out the World Heart Federation’s  heart age calculator. Visit your doctor, a free or sliding scale clinic in the Seattle, or many local pharmacies to learn your blood pressure numbers. The Central Area Senior Center sponsors weekly Blood Pressure clinics Wednesdays 11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. and Ballard Senior Center presents free Wellness Clinics every third Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

It’s normal to feel like you need to do a lot of things to be heart healthy but it’s equally important not to do things. As the American Psychological Association writes, “…your thoughts, attitudes and emotions…[can] not only accelerate the onset of heart disease, but also get in the way of taking positive steps to improve your health…” So, Relax. Take care of your mental balance and disarm your stress.

Like any good relationship in your life the one with your heart needs care and maintenance.  Start planning a heart healthy path today.

 

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