The month of February is American Heart Month! During February, organizations and communities all over the country are spreading the word about heart disease and encouraging people to make smarter lifestyle choices. Even the TODAY Show recently aired a segment about improving your heart health through simple exercises! According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. In fact, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. Here at Complexions Spa, we are dedicated to the overall well-being of all of our clients – this includes heart health! Read below to learn four simple ways to improve your heart health and prevent heart disease.
Exercising, eating a Mediterranean-style diet, getting a good night’s sleep and reducing your stress can help optimize the health of your heart.
There are many causes of heart disease, including congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, diabetes, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, and stress. While there is little that can be done about congenital heart conditions, lifestyle choices often have significant impact on heart health. A healthy diet, avoiding drugs, alcohol, and smoking, and regular exercise can go a long way to maintaining a healthy heart.
Stress and Anxiety
Often, heart disease begins to develop as a result of long-term, chronic stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety raise levels of stress hormones: adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones cause an increase in the rate of breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. These reactions are to equip your body for the “flight-or-fight” response. When you are under stress for days, weeks or years at a time, this constant ramped up demand on the heart begins to cause serious damage. Studies also link stress to changes in the way blood clots, which increases the risk of heart attack.
Massage Can Help You Manage Stress & Anxiety
Massage has been shown to be excellent in managing stress and anxiety because it addresses two important aspects of the condition:
1. Lack of restorative sleep
2. Pain from chronic muscle tension
Massage therapy has been proven to reduce stress and improve sleep quality and quantity in children, cancer patients and fibromyalgia sufferers. By improving sleep in patients suffering from stress and anxiety, the body is able to recover and the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol are able to return to normal, if only temporarily. Women are at a greater risk for a laundry list of alcohol-related diseases when drinking more than a moderate amount — among them cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke and certain types of cancer. And those who regularly misuse alcohol are also more likely to develop liver disease than men.
I serve on and support several community charity committees as I believe it’s important to give back to the communities that have supported Complexions Spa for many years.. In my spare time I love spending time outdoors connecting with nature by kayaking and hiking in the Adirondacks, equestrian sports and thoroughbreds, skiing, golf, and traveling. I also love early mornings in the gym exercising, pilates, my dog, cooking, and sharing time with my husband, our children, grandchildren, good friends and family.