This week and all of next week we will be focusing on the heart. Not just because Valentine’s Day is around the corner, but also because you can’t live or love without it.
In under a minute, your heart can pump blood to every cell in your body. And over the course of a day, about 100,000 heartbeats pump 2,000 gallons of oxygen-rich blood through about 60,000 miles of branching blood vessels that link together the cells of our organs and body parts. This fist-sized muscle is what keeps us alive – and yet it is also one of the world’s biggest killers. More people die prematurely from diseases of the heart and arteries than anything else. Yet both heart attacks and strokes are largely preventable diseases with highly familiar risk factors, such as poor diet, smoking, obesity and lack of exercise. This week we will be focusing on how to best protect your heart from disease, AND how the emotions of the heart, with Valentine’s Day in mind, ARE relevant.
DID YOU KNOW? Health experts now have proof that laughter is good medicine. A good belly laugh can send 20% more blood flowing through your entire body. One study found that when people watched a funny movie, their blood flow increased. That’s why laughter might just be the perfect antidote to stress. When you laugh, the lining of your blood vessel walls relaxes and expands. So have a good giggle. Your heart will thank you.