Valentine’s Day is an enjoyable time of year (although singles may not always agree). Candy, flowers, jewelry - these are wonderful, but it’s not just your sweetheart that deserves some love. Your real heart, the one inside your ribcage, also deserves some tender, loving care. Below are tips, exercises and products for a stronger, healthier heart.
You may also find that these tips help decrease your back pain as well!
Your heart is a muscle like any other. It gets stronger with use. For a healthy heart, exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Aerobic exercise - challenging exercise that requires getting more oxygen to your system - is a great way to get your heart pumping. Running, biking, walking, swimming - these activities not only strengthen your heart, but make it more efficient, which means it can do its job better. Greater stamina and endurance are a few of the benefits to aerobic exercise, but we suggest that you start slow and work your way up. As always, we recommend you consult your health care provider before engaging in a new workout program.
Put Your Feet Up
There’s a reason why they say “put your feet up.” Standing on your feet all day puts stress on the heart and spine. However, when you elevate your feet, the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to get blood and oxygen to all parts of your body. A zero gravity chair makes this a breeze. Using a concept developed by NASA, it takes the stress off your heart and spine by elevating you to a "zero gravity" position. With your feet raised to the same level as your heart, the strain of gravity on your vertebrae is less. It also improves circulation, so your heart can work less and relax more.
Stress, both physical and mental, is bad for the heart. The benefits of proper diet and exercise are well-known, but meditation is an overlooked way to get heart healthy. Yoga, Pilates, and deep-breathing exercises all help reduce stress and lower blood pressure.
Get a Massage
Massages don’t need to be long, drawn out affairs by a massage therapist. Five-minute massages in the morning and at night by a friend, spouse, or significant other can work wonders. Massage is one of the oldest forms of healing, and it can reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and increase circulation. The Happy Heart Massager from Relax The Back is good for this kind of low-cost, everyday massage. It’s a handheld massage tool that gives a wonderful full-body or pressure-point massage. It’s also comfortable to hold, so you don’t have to strain your own hands and fingers. Try a regimen of short, daily massages and see how it improves your heart health. It may even improve your relationship as well.
This Valentine’s Day, don’t just spoil your sweetheart with candy and flowers. Try a heart-healthy regimen for better circulation, endurance, and lower blood pressure. Give your real heart some love, and it will love you back for years to come.