Valentine's Day is synonymous with pink or red hearts. The colorful heart shapes of the holiday can be easily created, by folding a sheet of paper, then drawing half an elliptical shape that comes down to a point,with either end of the line touching the fold. Cut along the line and open the paper, and voila, a heart shape appears.
Valentine's Day presents the perfect occasion to pay attention to more than just hearts of the artistic or emotional variety. This “heart holiday” is the perfect reminder to us all to pay some attention to the thick muscular organ that lies in our chests, and works rhythmically to keep our oxygenated blood circulating throughout our bodies. Just like the muscles that enable us to lift heavy objects, run, or appear lean and fit; our heart muscle deserves attention.
Perhaps Valentine's Day could be a reminder for us all to:
- begin a cardiac exercise program (with the approval of a physician.)
- learn the warning signs of a heart attack.
- sign up to take a CPR class.
- Make an appointment for a physical exam with a doctor and get a baseline EKG.
- Make a note to be sure our children's sports physicals includes a cardiac evaluation.
- Stop smoking.
- Sign up a for a dietary class to learn what foods to avoid to decrease cholesterol.
- Begin a weight loss program.
- Investigate a stress management program
- Get our blood pressure checked.
- Start a campaign to get an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for at gym, office building, child's school, etc.
The list of things we can do to improve our own heart health, and to ensure the well being of others can go on and on. There are many resources available for educating oneself, and it is well worth the time to do so. Your Heart Health Protocol is an article with some good tips on how to protect your heart.
Still not convinced that all of the things listed above can make a difference? Here's a story about how some of them saved the life of a person who suffered a heart attack while attending an elementary school Christmas concert.
February is American Heart Month. In addition to giving a gift of love, Valentine's Day is a wonderful time to also give a gift that supports life - to yourself or someone else!
Know the warning signs of a heart attack, and what to do if you or someone you are with experiences them. Understand your cardiac risk factors, and take steps to reduce them. Paying attention to heart health could be a more precious Valentine than any candy, flower, or jewelry.
Have you ever taken a CPR Class?