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  • Writer's pictureTea Writes

Valentine's Day is Around the Corner; But is Your Heart Well Enough to Share?

Are you taking good care of your heart? Know your "numbers" to avoid pitfalls that could render your heart physically "broken."

Each one of us has been on a doctor visit and the medical professional comes into the treatment room where we're being seen.

They weighs us, take our body temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and may even take a blood sample, which is sent to the lab.

They'll document the results on our medical chart to ensure that our body is functioning properly and at a healthy rate.

On my doctor visits, one of the first things the medical professional comments on is my blood pressure.

She checks to see if my heart is functioning at a level to efficiently pump blood throughout my body, without adding excessive "pressure" on my arteries.

At this point, she's monitoring my blood pressure, which can ultimately affect how my heart functions, even enlarge it, if it has to work (pump) too hard over an extended period.

You see, the heart is a "muscle." And just as any other muscle within your body, if you work it excessively, it will begin to build or bulk-up (get bigger).

Well, the same holds true for your heart, which can result in chronic (long-term) adverse effects, and even cause it to malfunction, which can potentially result in heart disease if it is overworked.

It's imperative that we "know our numbers," and adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors that will keep our heart in tip-top shape.

What does the doctor look for in your blood pressure reading to determine if your heart is functioning properly?

Ideally, scientific studies have shown that a normal, healthy blood pressure is 120/80. This reading gives the rate at which blood is flowing through the arteries without excessive pressure.

The top number, which is 120, also called the systolic pressure. This is the rate at which blood pumps through your arteries to the rest of your body.

The bottom number, is 80, also called the diastolic pressure. This is the rate at which your heart is at rest between beats.

Although, this is common knowledge you can find on the internet, these facts are second-nature to me, since I've been monitoring my blood pressure closely since 2004.

I have a predisposition to hypertension (high blood pressure), due to my family history. I'm sharing about blood pressure in lay terms, based on my actual experience over the past two decades.

So, what can we do to maintain a healthy heart?

  1. Again, "know your numbers;" they all work together and ultimately affect your heart and how it functions

  2. Monitor your blood pressure, which you can do at home with a blood pressure monitor

  3. Pay close attention to your body

  4. Follow-up with your doctor for annual physicals and any unusual symptoms

  5. Go to the ER if you have:

  • unusual or severe headaches--the worst and most painful one you've ever had

  • chest pain or discomfort

  • shortness of breath

  • change in heart rate (slower or faster)

4. Minimize your stress level - manage those stressors within your control

5. Engage in things that are funny -- laugh a little

6. Surround yourself with like-minds --- community groups, friends, and activities that you have in common with others

7. Please, NO GOSSIPING! You'll feel much better when you don't --- negative press can have a negative effect on your heart. Even if you think it, don't say it. Some things are best left unsaid.

I practice these tips to keep my heart in optimal shape to share my heart with my loved ones.

Happy Valentines Day!

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