Every second of every day your heart pulses and pumps oxygenated blood throughout your entire body to keep you alive, alert, and well. This wondrous muscle is the core of your being, empowering your whole body. The more you work this muscular organ, which on average is the size of your fist, the more you excel in daily activities.
Imagine this. Every day your heart beats over 100,000 times, pumps 1,900 gallons of blood throughout your body, and forces the blood to travel a staggering 12,000 miles. A healthy heart also helps regulate blood pressure by producing a hormone that aids the kidneys in eliminating salt from the body. With a host of overwhelming duties, wouldn’t you think that it would be wise to put a special emphasis on training and strengthening this muscle?
Here are some simple steps you can take to train your most important muscle on a daily basis. The first thing to do is to always keep your mind on your heart. Be creative and retrain your mind to make simple choices that help your heart become more fit. Instead of taking the elevator at work, take the stairs. Instead of seeking out a “front row, Joe” parking spot at your next destination – park further away. Get out of the office during lunch and go for a brisk walk. If you’re a runner, challenge your heart by incorporating quick sprints into your existing workout. Also, you can really work your heart by performing squats and lunges, because you’re using the large muscle groups in your legs and therefore blood needs to be pumped harder to get to the area that is working.
Minding your heart also means paying attention to what you feed it. For optimal heart function, make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish. Keep in mind that eating foods with less saturated fat, less sodium, fewer calories, and more fiber are key.
Since heart disease is a leading cause of death for men and women in America, you need to take notice and truly mind your hearts. You’ll be amazed at how it goes hand in hand with losing weight, feeling better, and staying strong!