Bea’s Wellness Beat: Focus on the Heart

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I’m willing to bet that you weren’t aware of these 9 fantastic heart facts:

  •  Our heart pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood every stinking day.

 

  • Our heart beats around 100,000 beats per day, 35 million times a year, and around 2.5 billion beats in an average lifetime.

 

  • The heart is not on the left side of our chest – it’s in the middle, hanging out between our lungs.

 

  • Have a big heart is great figuratively. Literally? Not so much. An enlarged heart is a symptom of heart disease.

 

  • What day do most heart attacks occur? I’ll give you a hint, it’s NOT on our favourite day of the week, Friday. Nope, it’s the day we all love to hate: Monday (wow, what a surprise).

 

  • A guy’s heart is around 25% bigger than a woman’s. A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s.

 

  • Guys, are you losing the hair on the top of your head? Watch out! Research shows that you have a higher risk of heart disease, especially if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. (I suggest you join Hair Club for Men, stat. If it’s still around, that is).

 

  • The heart can continue to beat when separated from the body, as long as it has an oxygen source.

 

  • Lastly, we all know that laughter makes us feel better about life. Health experts point out that laughing not only has emotional health benefits; it’s also great for our heart.  You can read more about that in this article.

 

Heartfelt quotes:

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. (Helen Keller)

 

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye. (H. Jackson Brown, Jr.)

 

Despite everything, I believe that people really are good at heart. (Anne Frank)

 

I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone’s heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark. (Raymond Carver)

 

Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart, one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them. (Marvin J. Ashton)

 

For Further Reading:

Can you really die of a broken heart?

Sleep and Cardiovascular Disease

Exercise for your Heart Health

 

 

Why do we need vacations?

 

Mr. Boomer was acting particularly goofy after work the other day. “What are you on?” Bea asked. “I’m on vacation,” he laughed. He’s been waiting for months for this 2-week shut-down at work. He gets to relax and still has time to work on his ‘Honey Do’ list. He’s able to clear his mind from the ‘politics’ at work, and when the vacation is over, he’s ready to go to work again.

On Memorial Day week-end, Bea went on her first tropical vacation, to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin islands. She and her daughter flew down and spent four glorious days tanning on the beach, sipping those all-inclusive drinks, frolicking with sea lions, and island-hopping. She felt carefree and stress-free. No worries!

It took Bea about 10 minutes to relax when the plane landed on the island; highly unusual for her, since winding down is not her strong suit. The relaxed feeling actually lasted for a week or more when she went back to work.

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We all need vacations – from the workplace, from the day-to-day routine of life, from cell phones and all those other electronic devices we’re glued to everyday. And there’s simply no reason to deny ourselves the pleasure of a vacation: there’s actual research that indicates why vacations are so important for our mental health and well-being.

This article, The Science behind Vacations, points out that “getting away from it all” can help people re-examine their life choices, and if they’ve been making bad choices, a vacation can supply them with a new, more positive perspective. The article also points out that researchers have concluded that vacations can help our physical health by reducing stress levels.

Getting out of our ruts and enjoying leisure time can give people a more positive outlook on life – You can read more about that idea at this article from the National Public Radio website.

But do we need any scientific reason to go on vacation? No way.  Researchers don’t have to convince Bea (or probably you for that matter) that vacations simply make our lives more satisfying and more fun.  We all need that.

For further reading:

Why your brain needs vacations

The importance of vacations to our physical and mental health