Show your heart some love this February with five simple habits. The good news is, you are probably already doing some of them!
Healthy breathing means activating your diaphragm, a set of muscles in your abdomen. Practice healthy breathing by lying down on a flat surface. Put one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach. Breath in slowly and feel your stomach rise under your hand. The hand on your chest should not move. Spend a few minutes every day practicing deep-breathing, and don’t be surprised if it puts you to sleep!
Once you are familiar with the feeling of breathing deeply, you can do this standing up. You can get so used to breathing deeply that it becomes automatic. Healthy breathing has been shown to decrease blood pressure. All the oxygen in your blood will also help you feel more alert and energized.
More and more doctors are observing a link between heart health and oral health. Bacteria build-up in the mouth can contribute to heart disease and unhealthy arteries. We already know to brush twice a day and floss daily, but now we have an extra reason.
Engaging in physical activity every day is important for heart health. The heart is a muscle, and it needs a healthy and appropriate workout. It’s important to know your own limitations and to avoid over-exertion or strain. Start simple with a short walk. It can be as easy as parking a little farther from the grocery store when you go shopping, or doing a few laps around your driveway when you pick up the mail. If it is too cold or dangerous to go outside, marching in place is a great way to get your heart pumping without having to go anywhere.
Maintain Good Hygiene
Any sickness is a strain on the heart. Your first line of defense against illness is to practice good hygiene regularly. This includes things you have to do throughout the day, like washing your hands. It also means keeping your body clean and wearing clean clothes. Pay attention to minor cuts and bruises to be sure they are healing, and use moisturizer for cracked dry skin. Good hygiene should also impact how clean your living space is. A clean kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom are easier to keep germ-free. You can win the fight against disease before it even starts.
Spending time in prayer or meditation is shown to lower blood pressure. It is important to spend time in silence and reflect on all that we are grateful for, especially during difficult times. Offer up the tensions that are on your mind and in your heart. Hand your worries over to God and let Him hold them for you. Get in touch with His presence in your life, whether at your house or at your local church.
If you find it difficult to maintain silence and focus, pray with scripture or sacred music. There are also many prayers, like the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy, that help to open to a meditative state of mind.
These five simple activities can keep your heart healthier. You may even be doing all these things already! If you think you need help with oral health and overall hygiene, give us a call. Franciscan Ever There Care has Personal Care Aides and Housekeepers ready to assist.